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A Novel By Marion Ehrenberg

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In her first book, THE LANGUAGE OF DREAMS, Marion reveals the secret world of psychotherapy from both sides of the couch.  

Author and filmmaker Aliss Terrell calls THE LANGUAGE OF DREAMS "a unique story artfully told, a page-turner, and a psychological thriller."  

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Friesen Press Publishing


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The language of dreams

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Twenty-two-year-old Clare Thomas Lane begins therapy by court order, not by choice. 

Clare is sure that she doesn't need the help of a shrink.  

Clare's fortysomething psychotherapist, Avery Frontiera, doubts her own ability to connect with this prickly young shoplifter. 

However, the two women will transform each other in ways that neither can possibly foresee. 

As Avery and Clare begin their sessions, each woman faces a major life crisis. 

Clare grapples with an unwanted pregnancy; Avery struggles with a fractured marriage and unrealized hopes for motherhood. 

Both are haunted by dark family secrets. 

The strict boundaries between psychologist and client are blurred from the first session when Clare discovers Avery's negative pregnancy test. 

Avery struggles to regain control over the tumultuous therapist-client relationship that unfolds. She manages to get past Clare's defensive shell and bond with her most vulnerable self, but their work together doesn't stop there. 

Guided by the insights of their therapy sessions and their dreams, Avery and Clare must uncover the shocking truths of the past in order to face the crises of the present and walk into the future side by side. 

Drawing on Marion's expertise in the fascinating realm of psychotherapy, THE LANGUAGE OF DREAMS, shows that coming of age can occur at any time in one's life. Sometimes, family can be found where we least expect it.

Kirkus Reviews says, "Ehrenberg's handling of the psychoanalysis process … is expert and delicate … this is a strong character study about how people react when backed into a corner … a complex … engaging novel about temptation and ethical quandaries."


The Language of Dreams is a unique story, artfully told.

It’s a page-turner, a psychological thriller with elements of magical realism that takes place in contemporary multicultural settings with political relevance.  

The plot centers around two main female characters, mature therapist Avery, and her young patient Clare.

One is wiser, but infertile, the other rash, searching, and soon pregnant. One is a dancer, one an artist.  Author Ehrenberg gives us breathtaking descriptions of Avery in the ballet studio, Clare with her canvases and photographs, navigating their relationships with the men who gravitate to them, as lovers, partners and colleagues. 

Women’s issues and themes thread through the narrative: desire and non-desire for motherhood, friendship, the grief of separation and miscarriage, biological clocks, love, loss and renewal, choices and their consequences, adoption and the mystery of how lives intertwine. 

As an experienced psychologist herself, the author knows the challenges of mother-daughter communication and the weight of family secrets.  Her portraits are nuanced and finely drawn, the dialogues authentic with emotional depth.

I find the suspenseful storytelling very commercial, lending itself to dramatization for film, TV, and audio.

Although there is a resolution at the end, it leaves the reader with questions, hoping for a sequel about how the protagonists will build their lives.

This is women’s literary fiction for the upmarket book club audience, particularly relevant for women in middle adulthood, and can also interest men and younger readers.

I highly recommend it!