Book Review: Gilligan’s Dreams by Dreama Denver

Today I come to you in hopes that I can make a compelling case for you to read Gilligan’s Dreams,  written by “Gilligan” actor Bob Denver’s lovely wife and the love of his life, Dreama Denver.

Benjamin Franklin once said that we should either write something worth reading about or do something worth writing about. This is a case of achieving both. I sincerely hope there is a way to put this story on film. This has to be possible – after all, Dreama’s good friend and strong supporter for this work was Homer Hickam, author of Rocket Boys which was made into the wonderful movie October Sky.

Gilligan’s Dreams is the love story of a man and woman that found a level of love for each other that very few ever find. But beyond that it is a story of how they sacrificed their lives to care for their severely brain damaged son Colin – a child that UCLA told them to institutionalize because he was so far beyond hope. It is the story of how Dreama cared for her loving husband as he was dying of heart disease and throat cancer. Their story is inspirational, heart warming and heart breaking – I have never cried this much reading any book before and I have read a lot of books!

Dreama is a very gifted writer – her choice of words many times seemed poetic and I often found myself transfixed as to how she could convey their story with such impact. This book can touch so many people that are struggling with problems in their lives and demonstrate how the power of love can overcome them. Beyond that it can infuse hope and inspiration into those that are caregivers.

There is another message here – a reason why so many of us loved Gilligan’s Island when it was such a silly show. I have pondered this myself many times but it took Dreama to provide the words. It was because we all want to be able to identify with someone like Gilligan. Someone that could mess up and yet still have everything come out all right in the end because people still loved him – and more importantly, forgave him when he felt small and insignificant. Who does not want to be a part of a family where we feel loved in spite of ourselves?

This is a testimony to a wonderful man that few of us really got to know and to the wonderful woman that was by his side for so many years. I know he would be proud of this work even as I am. I count it a privilege to have met with such a remarkable woman who has given so much of herself in life and in writing this work – I think it could make a difference in the lives of so many.

Find Gilligan’s Dreams HERE on Amazon:

Doug Hartline

In 1977, Doug Hartline wanted to be an actor but knew his talent wasn’t there so wisely put that behind him and left Bakersfield, California to start his upper division college work at the University of California Davis (UCD) working on a doctorate degree in Applied Mathematics with an emphasis on Physics. In 1982, God pressed it upon his heart to withdraw from pursuing that to spend more time with his family and to engage more fervently with his church. He therefore left his possible teaching career and part time teaching assistant position to begin a career as a University Administrator on his campus and held a variety of management positions there. Following many years at Davis, he spent the last ten years of his educational career as Director of Core Technologies at the University of California Santa Cruz. With his primary focus on information and educational technologies, Doug served on several statewide committees and was Chair of the Business Advisory Committee for the Corporation for Educational Initiatives in California (CENIC) that was responsible for providing high speed networking to most public and private universities, the community college system and K-12 schools throughout California. This labor of love resulted in him receiving the CENIC Founders Award just prior to his retirement in 2017. In all, he spent nearly forty years with the University of California. Although his career was focused on technology and higher education, Doug had many passions he wanted to pursue following retirement. He is an avid life long learner and has refocused his attentions from the sciences to literature, U.S. and World History, music, and the theater arts and now travels nationally and internationally to make what he learns come alive. To borrow from and paraphrase Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society, mathematics and physics was a noble pursuit and sustained Doug’s life, but it is poetry, beauty, romance and love that he finds are worth staying alive for. He is a ballroom dancer and is now learning to play the piano for the first time. As an amateur Hollywood historian, he strives to keep memories of a kinder and simpler age alive by sharing otherwise forgotten films with others and by meeting with stars from yesteryear. In an era of division and discord, he leverages all of these pursuits to show people how much beauty there is in the world if they will simply look for it. His wife of 41 years accompanies him in his travels and together they have two children and three grandchildren. They have had great joy in their marriage and have loved teaching Christian based marriage classes to couples looking to enhance their marriages. Together they realize that healthy marriages are the foundation for healthy families and a hopeful future.

Related Articles

Back to top button

Please disable ad blocker.

We work hard to write our articles and provide you with the content you enjoy. The ads on the site allow us to continue our work while feeding our families. If you'd please whitelist our site in your ad blocker or remove your ad blocker altogether, we'd greatly appreciate it. Thank you!