Dreaming Water by Gail Tsukiyama

Dreaming Water

The first thing popped up in my mind when I got to the last page:
“Gosh, what a boring book.”

I mean I really want to like this book, because it deals with difficult issue, and you thought it would be interesting, but it just… didn’t. It’s boring. The characters are all one-dimensional and full of cliches. And they say cliche things to each other.

So the story goes around Hana, a Japanese American, who is suffering from Werner’s syndrome, a disease that makes a person age at twice the rate of a healthy person. At 38, she has the appearance of an 80 years old. Cate, her mother, is caring for her while struggling with the loss of her husband, Max. Then there are Laura, Hana’s childhood friend, and her 2 daughters, who Hana have not met for 10 years, who give her a surprise visit.

The story only gets a tiny bit more interesting after they all meet, which is only at the last third of the book. The first two third is full of Hana and Cate’s flashbacks (which, again, I found boring). The only elements that I found interesting are the Japanese American internment camp during WWII (something I never heard before) and the downs of looking Asian in 70s US. Oh and of course, some facts about Werner’s syndrome.


The funny thing is, I have another book about a little girl who suffers from Progeria. The affected people age a lot faster than Werner’s syndrome, which makes them rarely pass their teens, while people with Werner usually do not live pass late 40s or early 50s. Also, Werner’s syndrome only shows up when the person reaches puberty, then they start to age rapidly in their twenties. Child with Progeria shows symptoms since they’re babies. So in this other book, I just saw a 14 year-old child that looks very old, who may not live very long, and she’s real. I see pictures of her. In Dreaming Water, Hana gets to live up to 38 years-old and her mother keeps complaining about how young she is. And they’re fictional. So, you see where I’m getting at. The impact was just not there. I know they’re all horrible diseases, but relatively, I feel a lot more for Ashley than Hana.

Pages: 288
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 [Flawed]
Too fluffy and girly for my taste. Light reading.

First line

As a child I was afraid of the dark.

Last line

I’ll never forget.

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