Tell Me Your Dreams
|Preceded by||The Best Laid Plans|
|Followed by||The Sky Is Falling|
The three women do not get along very well, because of their dissimilar natures. Toni and Alette generally maintain a friendship, with Alette a calming influence, but Toni dislikes Ashley and criticizes her harshly. All three have issues with their mothers having told them they'd never amount to anything.
Ashley fears that somebody is following her. She finds her house lights turned on when she returns from work, her personal effects in disarray, and someone has written "You will die" on her mirror with a lipstick. She thinks someone's broken into her house. She requests a police escort, but the next morning, the police officer assigned to this duty is found dead in her apartment. Two other murders have already taken place, with an identical pattern. All the murdered men had been castrated and were having sex before being murdered. Evidence points to the same woman being involved in all three cases. When a gift from one of the murdered men to Toni is found among Ashley's things, she is identified as the killer and arrested. At this point, it is revealed that the three women are three selves of a woman suffering from multiple personality disorder.
|“||Sheriff Dowling took a deep breath. "Ashley Patterson...Toni Prescott...Alette Peters, they're all the same fucking person."||”|
Ashley's father persuades an attorney friend to represent Ashley. The second half of the novel deals with the trial, complete with endless squabbling between opposing psychiatrists as to whether or not MPD is real. Finally when Ashley's advocate introduces Toni, the violent alter of Ashley, the court is convinced that Ashley is innocent. Ashley is committed to an insane asylum and in the course of therapy is introduced to her two "alters" and relives the horrific events that shattered her mind. She was sexually abused during her childhood, and this made her to develop a strong hatred towards men.
In the asylum, Ashley is treated for MPD by doctor Gilbert. He is attracted to her and during her crisis, he too feels her pain and wants to comfort her. It is revealed that her father was the one who sexually abused her, and caused her to develop Dissociative Identity Disorder and also was the cause for the creation of the alter Toni,and becomes a thing of her mother's detest. And later in her life when they are living in Italy during her teenage she is once again assaulted by her Father and that leads the creation of Alette. The structuring of both the alters is very interesting, Since the first alter represents her struggle and fear as a helpless child without sexual maturity, The alter (Toni) develops into a protective one and becomes murderous when encountered with similar conditions, While the second alter (Alette)represents her feeling of shame and pain of being breached, thus this alter develops into a source of console exhibiting warmth and motherly love and has good rapport with Ashley.
However, Ashley's alter (Toni) was enraged when she saw the news that her father because the woman he is about to marry has a three-year-old daughter. She was afraid that the girl would suffer the fate she had. Doctor Gilbert drains anger out of Toni by showing the news everyday therefore making Toni softer every passing day.
This softer side of Toni was only a front to show Doctor Gilbert she has finally accepted everything so she and Alette (another alter) could get out of the asylum to kill her father who is staying in Hamptons for Christmas.In the end, Doctor Gilbert releases her from the asylum as he believes she is cured.
|“||...listen to me. We go along with the doctor. We make him believe that we're really trying to help him. We string him along. We're in no hurry. And I promise you that one day I'll get us out of here.||”|
In the end Ashley is shown to be traveling in a train when Toni (her violent alter) suddenly shows up and go Hamptons, where her father was staying,to kill him.
Toni on the last part of the novel:
|“||There could have been a terrible ending for her, but this was the happy ending she had prayed for.I'm on my way at last. And as the train headed toward the Hamptons, she began to sing softly.||”|
- Swarupa Pillai (5 July 2008). "Whose story is it, anyway?". The Hindu. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
The Best Laid Plans
|Sidney Sheldon Novels
The Sky is Falling