Imaginary Things is an engaging women’s fiction novel. Written by Andrea Lochen (a new mother herself), the novel follows the “real/surreal” life of Anna Jennings, a burned-out and broke twenty-two-year-old single mother who moves to her grandparents’ rural home for the summer—her four-year-old son, David, in tow. The sudden appearance of shadowy dinosaurs forces Anna to admit that either she’s lost her mind or she can see her son’s active imagination. As David’s visions become more persistent and threatening, Anna must learn to differentiate between which dangers are real and which are imagined, and who she can truly trust.
The book is unique and tackles motherhood, relationships, and mental illness. The characters are well-developed, and the book is a solid read - but not too meaty to be entertaining. I enjoyed the time I spent reading the book, and it would make a great Mother's Day gift or a good summer read.
Andrea Lochen is a University of Michigan MFA graduate. Her first novel, The Repeat Year (Berkley, 2013), won a Hopwood Award for the Novel prior to its publication. She has served as fiction editor of The Madison Review and taught writing at the University of Michigan. She currently teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, where she was recently awarded UW Colleges Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.