The Dream Shelf follows Sam Archer on a journey of hope, frustration, elation and shame as he struggles to uncover the secret of his father’s hidden past. Along the way it examines the basis of human motivation, asks whether doing the wrong thing can sometimes be the right thing to do and highlights lessons in sacrifice and integrity that one generation must pass on to the next.
No pictures, no past and yet his dreams were left on the shelf. A book, a toy, a framed quote and a plaster bust symbolized the places Sam’s father wanted to see and things he wanted to do. But that was all that remained of the man who sacrificed everything for his son. The rest of Robert Archer’s life was a mystery, deleted from the pages of time, and when he died unexpectedly Sam was left with the bitter regret of not having done more to learn the truth.
Things change with the discovery of a hidden yearbook, a list of names and a government document. Sam’s interest in his father’s life becomes a surreptitious tale that ignites a passion to know what happened to him and why his secret could not be shared. He embarks on a quest for ‘his story’, one with the promise of closure but also the threat of learning more than he should know. The trail leads to Gus, a WWII veteran whose cryptic ramblings suggest a horrific plan to end the war in Europe, and to his daughter Karen, who is torn between helping Sam and protecting her father. Together they learn the dark secret behind the Dream Shelf, the high cost of integrity and the lessons a father left behind for his son.