Skyler White is back with her second novel, In Dreams Begin, demanding more from her readers by asking harder questions through a provocative prose.
InSkyler White is back with her second novel, In Dreams Begin, demanding more from her readers by asking harder questions through a provocative prose.
In present day Portland, we meet Laura on her wedding night. Laura has married a man not for love, but for practicality. As a straight forward, smart, independent woman she knows that crazy in love is still crazy and chooses the more safer option. As she falls asleep, her spirit floats up and back down in to the body of one Maud Gonne, Dublin's famous beauty, 100 years in Ireland's past. Greeted by Ida Jameson, she's convinced that it's all only a dream and welcomes the idea of a love play between the crazy in love Ida with Maud believing in only the symbolism of the act.
Ida Jameson believes that everything she wants or loves turns sour at it's climax.
"But every gem-like moment Ida sought to fashion for herself turned to a dirty paste of disappointment while unexpected opportunities inevitably found her unprepared, in her worst dress or bad skin."
Everything that she strives for she knows she will never obtain, but that does not detour her in her journey to find completion. She wants her childhood friend, Maud and to be apart of the Theosophical Society in a way that borders obsession and driven by open opportunities. When she finds a chance meeting between Maud and William Yeats, she hopes to present Maud, in a mesmerism state again, as Laura to him for guaranteed acceptance in to their society. Though, like everything else, it slips from her grasp and as Maud, Laura falls for the hopeless dreamer and handsome poet Yeats and him with her.
Entrancing from page one, In Dreams Begin sets the reader off on a course of finding love, sexuality, security, infatuation, freedom, sacrifice and imagination though a wide scale array of emotions from pain to pleasure. Like and Falling, Fly, Skyler asks what's the difference between need and want? Imagination and reality? Love and infatuation? What do we accomplish by holding ourselves back or sacrificing our love? Is love really a sacrifice of freedom? Adding to her own more person quandaries:
"Do I truly possess my own body? Is it mine to maintain, enhance, neglect or add horns to? Can I give myself to someone? Do I own my child? Is my body’s health a status symbol, a communication tool, a shell for my soul, or a public policy problem? And isn’t channeling the souls of other people really what all writers do?"
As we follow Laura through time to the other half of her soul, we will see the toll it takes on her poet, Yeats. The sacrifices he will endure for the love of Laura. How Laura finds her freedom, security and peace from the war raging inside her. Meanwhile, Ida has shifted obsessions once again, willing to travel to Hell and back to bring her one true love to her at any cost. Is Ida the devil or villain of this fairytale? Maybe, but I can't help but feel sorry for her plight. All she's looking for is love and freedom, however, life is cruel to her. In a time where beauty is everything and woman are less than second class, she has nothing to hold on to. The tighter her fist clench to keep what she wants and needs close, the faster it falls from her grasp leading her down a path of rejection and failure, desperate. Is Laura, Maude and Yeats the victims of crazed actions? Of course, but are they any less to blame? No.
In Dreams Begin will leave you drunk on words of the beautiful poetic writings of Skyler White. However, also like and Falling, Fly, I found the first person past tense point of view of Laura a bit jarring mixed with Ida's third person present tense point of view. Again it took me longer than I would of liked to get into the story, but once I did, it flowed. By the end, you will learn the answers that plagues Laura's questions and Skyler's alike. Your going to have to work for this one, for it is not a simple read, but it will be worth it for what it provokes in you alone....more
and Falling, Fly was not even close to what I was expecting after seeing it featured, along with it's author, on another bloggers website. Skyler Whitand Falling, Fly was not even close to what I was expecting after seeing it featured, along with it's author, on another bloggers website. Skyler White, with her long dreads and funky wardrobe, writing about Rock Stars, vampires, angels, demons and desires, sounds suspiciously like the makings of a paranormal romance, but I was intrigued. After reading the first page, though I knew I was mistaken and this book would be so much more.
Olivia is a fallen angel. A vampire. She is desire. She feeds with quills on her victims and drinks their memories from their blood. She has no feeling, numb to all that is around her. She wants more, though. She's positive that the true love of mortal may save her from her long life as an undead, bringing her back into full grace. After her latest botched attempt at bringing this experiment to fruition she's accepts the fact that she has failed. Olivia's through with only being desired, shaping herself to mold into her latest victims idea of what she should be. She's done with the hoping and with it, its suffering. Done with searching for her way out through humanity. The wanting to be seen for who she really is. She wants to go home. To the one place she can be herself.
Dr. Dominic O'Shaughnessy is professor of neuroscience at Cambridge. He's a rational man, believing in only what he can see or prove. His study is in memories. He wants to isolate them and remove them. His search is not to only to help others, though but a vain attempt to cease his own burdens. Dominic is plagued with visions of past lives and people he once loved and lost. Feelings and images he should not possess, but seem no less real. He is apart of the Reborn. Forced to live his life over and over. Experience love to only loose it again. All he needs now is funding for his research and his departments prayers are answered by Madalene Wright, a well known power-house with generous pockets. However, her money comes with a price of it's own. Madalene is only interested in Dominic's research for what it could do for her goddaughter's delusional thoughts of vampirism and it must be done privately. To do this, he'll have to go back to the one place he knows that holds a secret population of the damned. He has to go back to Dublin, back to Hell.
L'Otel Matillide's is an underground sanctuary for all the tortured souls led by a innkeeper just as strange, Gaehod. It calls out to the Reborn and Undead, Damned, Cursed, and Misbegotten. Inviting them into the comfort of her understanding and freedom. Filled with inexplicably high ceilings, miles of rooms and secret gardens. Here is where are two characters meet. Each searching for their own answers and seeking escape from their own opposing realities. Only to be forced together by their own gravity of desire.
Skyler White writes a beautifully poetic tale of two people searching for themselves. A dark urban fantasy, matching myth and legend with desire, damnation and sacrifice that keep you spellbound to the very end. She asks hard questions of not only her characters, but of her readers. She says:
"Olivia is based on one of the darker sides of myself. She’s that dissatisfied, hungry, searching part of me that wants what she can’t have and is half irritated and half in love with that wanting. I wrote ‘and Falling, Fly’ as an opportunity to interrogate her, to poke around in my relationship to desire – with wanting and being wanted, with wanting and getting – or not getting. I wanted to try to understand why desire can be both motivating and crippling, where it can get twisted into craving or addiction, and where it can open up into liberation and love."
I have to say she has succeeded. Olivia and Dominic are forced to re-examine what they want and need. What's real and what's falsely presented as fact. To make choices based upon what they think they know. You're left constantly questioning what is real? Are there really undead fallen angels? Does Dominic really relive his past lives? Or is it all just an illusion?
I did have some issues with and Falling, Fly. The switching back and forth from Olivia's first person/past tense point of view to Dominic's third person point of view was a little troubling for me. It took me a lot longer than I would have wished to get in to the flow, though, after finding it, the pages turned quickly. This is not a read for the lazy reader and if you can get past the confusion, past the complexity of it, then it's worth every minute. I really enjoyed and Falling, Fly and can't wait to see more from Skyler White. ...more