A Unique Perspective on Madness in “The Trajectory of Dreams”

Nicole Wolverton’s The Trajectory of Dreams illuminated psychosis to an extent that I had never experienced before in a novel. In the novel, Lela White is a sleep lab technician who observes the sleep practices of astronauts before they leave on missions into space. She believes that they are asleep when the shuttle takes off into space and that what she does is a necessary endeavor.

Lela had a difficult childhood with a mother who thought her to be weird because she observed her sleep patterns. Her mother also dealt with psychological issues. Her father doted on Lela and stood up for her when her mother ranted against her actions. Lela grew up reading books that were far more advanced than those of her peers and had difficulty relating to her classmates.

Her difficulties relating to others continued into her adulthood and she is closer to her cat, Nike, than anyone else in the world. She believes that her cat converses with her and agrees with her mission to save the astronauts. She thinks that her colleague is working against her and regrets letting her colleague stay with her later in the novel because she thinks that her plan will be figured out and thwarted.

This novel proved to be unique and although it was slow going at points the plot twists more than made up for any issues the book had. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about psychological issues or psychology in general. It was a book unlike any I have ever read before.

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