I've noticed that when there's a dream sequence in novels, many writers use italics to cue the reader in. I've never thought anything of it and with dreams, flashbacks, visions etc, I appreciate the hint that what I'm reading is happening inside a character's head and not in "real time." But there's a novel I'm critiquing where the opening scene in one of the chapters is a dream, and it's not italicized.

When I suggested italics, the writer says other reviewers jumped all over her for having 2 page long italicized passage (evidently, some people have trouble reading italics and use of italics for things like this is falling out of favor). Problem is, I can't give any other advice on how to make it clear. The dream sequence is pretty important and really can't be cut or summarized as "telling." The novel's in a deeper third pov (and the protag doesn't know she's dreaming), so an omniscient style "narrative outtake" really would be cumbersome here.

I've also considering a dream scene in a story I'm writing, so my curiosity is piqued, so to speak. How is this issue usually handled.