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In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire feat. Betsy Cornwell

New year, new books! This week we devoured the novella In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire, and had a lovely time chatting with YA author Betsy Cornwell. (Transcript)

 40 In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire feat Betsy Cornwell

In today’s episode…

Today we chat about In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire.

Katherine Lundy is quiet, serious, and studious. She’d rather be reading a book than playing with her friends, and expects that a wholly ordinary life awaits her in a distant Adulthood. But all that changes when a door appears before her and invites her in to the Goblin Market, where Fairness is the driving force and rules are never made to be broken. It’s the perfect world for Lundy to thrive, but Lundy has to choose between growing old and ordinary with her family, or staying in the Goblin Market forever.


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Episode highlights…


1:03 Catching up with Betsy Cornwell

7:05 The Forest Queen and other “warm cup of tea” books

8:47 “Don’t gush too much”

11:15 The writing style, and this book’s place in the Wayward Children world


Things We Like A Latte

Danielle –  Mary Poppins Returns

Betsy – After Christmas cheese sales in Ireland

Amanda – A twitter thread of “fun but useless facts” started by author Sarah Gaily. Specifically the fact that almost half of all worker ants do very little working.




19:30 “The noodle incident” – further discussion of the writing style

22:28 This book invites fan-fiction and ‘creative reading’

26:05 The overarching question of fairness that this books asks


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More ideas and resources for teachers and librarians…

This book is unique because SO much of the action happens ‘off-screen’. This narrative style makes it a great for inspiring fanfiction or for pairing with Danielle’s Creative Reading Task Cards.

You might also want to check out this three-part series of articles from School Library Journal that dives into what fanfiction is, ways to include it in a classroom setting (without making it ‘uncool’), and how to use the resources already at your school.

40 In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire feat Betsy Cornwell

Get in touch with us on Instagram and Twitter at @yacafepodcast or email us at We look forward to hearing from you!




Hosts: Danielle Hall (who blogs at

          & Amanda Thrasher (a booklover extraordinaire)


Guest: Betsy Cornwell (find her at She’s also active on on Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter)

Producer: Leila Hobbs

Music: Matt McCammon


Thanks to publishing for the ARC!


  • StephenFleno
    January 16, 2019 at 2:22 am

    Kind tidings ! nicedonation
    Fair-minded click

  • Sage
    February 19, 2019 at 6:50 am

    I’ve been going through this series, which has been on my “To Read” list for a long time, and I am loving it. Seeing that you were going to review the 4th book in the series, and the link on the Round-up for the 1st book, inspired me to finally get it and start devouring the series. The first book was everything I could want. I loved Nancy, and it was so nice to see an asexual main character. The idea that all these kids went to different worlds that had their own rules and could be somewhat similar or totally different was fascinating. Kade stole my heart, and I was so happy to see that the 2nd book was Jacqueline and Jillian’s story. 3rd book looks a little sugar-coated after the first 2, but we’ll see. I’m looking forward to getting to Lundy’s story in book 4, especially after the gushing here. I couldn’t believe how much I’m loving the series.

    • Danielle Hall
      February 19, 2019 at 7:50 am

      I couldn’t agree with you more, Sage! Book 3 definitely felt more like kids having frolicking adventures, but I can’t get over how #1 and #4 made me feel. Can’t wait for you to read it! -Danielle

      • Sage
        March 8, 2019 at 9:59 pm

        I loved #4, but not as much as I loved #1. I had a different experience than you guys did, since I read #1 first and knew Lundy’s fate, and despite that, I simultaneously felt like it was dragging towards that fate and yet felt that Lundy made a large leap to get there, that it needed more development. Maybe it was more like I needed something more during the rest of the book that would lead to the inevitability of her choice, and it wasn’t there.

        • Danielle Hall
          March 11, 2019 at 8:57 am

          That’s so interesting! Obviously, we can’t ever unread them in the wrong order, but I can totally see that it would unraise the stakes if you knew she wouldn’t get to stay in The Market.

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