How would you feel if you lived in two separate realities connected only by the fragile bonds of half-remembered dreams? Each day you spend with your wonderful spouse and promising career is matched by one you spend in a gray, utopian world where your every need is met, but you can never, ever be a thinking, creative individual. How would you maintain your sanity and at what cost? More
What is reality? Is it an absolute, set in stone? Or is each person's reality valid against a myriad of realities?
Jennifer has a wonderful life--a loving husband, Travis, a beautiful home, robust health. She's about to embark on a promising career in clinical psychology under the guidance of Seamus, her dear friend and mentor. Everything's perfect, except for one thing. Jennifer has disturbing dreams every time she sleeps. She and Travis chalk it up to the stress of beginning her new career. They're sure the dreams will go away. But they don't. As time passes, they become more intense, as real as her own daily life.
In the world of her dreams, she's Jen, a citizen of First City. It's a gray, sterile utopia, where everyone thinks alike and dresses alike. There is no jealousy, hatred or war--no love or creativity. Every glimmer of individuality has been stamped out. The people are told what to think, where to work, how to dress, when to make love. Even their dreams are suppressed by drugs. To prevent mass insanity, the leaders of the society, called the Thinkers, have invented the dreamcrown. It's a device that initiates REM sleep while suppressing all memories of dreams. But Jen remembers. She's the only one who does. When she wears the dreamcrown, she's Jennifer.
Life is becoming more unbearable for Jennifer with each night she dreams of First City. Life is becoming more unbearable for Jen as she experiences the sharp contrast between Jennifer's world and her own hive-like existence. The line between their realities begins to blur. The fabric of their existence itself starts to unravel. Something must be done before they both go mad. So, they conceive a desperate plan to end Jennifer's dreams of First City, thus enabling Jen to escape into Jennifer's life permanently. But if they fail, Jennifer will be lost in an endless coma, and Jen will be reduced to a mindless vegetable.