Paperback - 384 pages
ISBN 10: 0425236951
ISBN 13: 978-0425236956
Released: November 2, 2010
Buy it via the Publisher
Buy it via Amazon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
1. and Falling, Fly
2. In Dreams Begin
“Close your eyes tightly—tightly—and keep them closed . . .”
From a Victorian Ireland of magic, poetry and rebellion, Ida Jameson, an amateur occultist, reaches out for power, but captures Laura Armstrong, a modern-day graphic artist instead. Now, for the man or demon she loves, each woman must span a bridge through Hell and across history . . . or destroy it.
“Every passionate man is linked with another age, historical or imaginary, where alone he finds images that rouse his energy.” W. B. Yeats
Anchored in fact on both sides of history, Laura and Ida, modern rationalist and fin de siècle occultist, are linked from the moment Ida channels Laura into the body of celebrated beauty and Irish freedom-fighter Maud Gonne. When Laura falls—from an ocean and a hundred years away—passionately, Victorianly in love with the young poet W. B. Yeats, their love affair entwines with Irish history and weaves through Yeats’s poetry until Ida discovers something she wants more than magic in the subterranean spaces in between.
With her Irish past threatening her orderly present and the man she loves in it, Laura and Yeats—the practical materialist and the poet magus—must find a way to make love last over time, in changing bodies, through modern damnation, and into the mythic past to link their pilgrim souls . . . or lose them forever.
I read this book knowing that I might not enjoy the writing style. From what I've heard about the first book in the series, AND FALLING, FLY, most people had complaints about how disjointed, chaotic, and muddled the writing was. Due to so many people stating similar sentiments (some came from a few I trust when it comes to books and my tastes), I figured I would wait to get a library copy. Then, Skyler approached me to read IN DREAMS BEGIN, and I figured now would be as good a time as any to see what her writing is like.
I wish more people could have enjoyed this book. IN DREAMS BEGIN was a pleasant surprise for me. Not only was it different (in a good way!), but it was also delightful to read. Normally, I do not enjoy reading poems, however, I thought the ones included at the start of each chapter enhanced what I read.
The premise of this story was unique and something that I have not seen done before. I loved that Skyler recreated a person's past. I loved reading the poems by Yeats, and I loved the story between him and Laura. I actually looked up who Maud Gonne was (and checked to see what Yeats looked like). It was pretty cool and a great approach towards encouraging younger readers to investigate the history of these people further!
Some will probably dislike this book because of the first person to third person POV shifts. Personally, I thought it was great for the story line and definitely added another aspect to this story. I actually thought of a possible reason behind why Skyler did this (aside from making the shifts easier on readers): Laura was in first person because she was the modern woman, while Ida was in third person because all the events in her life occurred in the past. Could this have been Skyler's intention? Maybe. Or maybe I'm just thinking about this book too much. Despite my enjoyment of the swaps, sometimes the start of Ida's scenes would confuse me, but I generally could adjust to the changes easily enough.
There was a time or two where I grew slightly confused with what was happening in a scene. During these rare moments, I did end up having to reread a page or two, but it was nothing that lessened my enjoyment of this book. In fact, looking back, I don't think I have any complaints about this story.
Word of warning: if you do not enjoy womanXwoman, then you might not enjoy this book. One of the first of many encounters happens to be right at the start, though it is only kissing and touching. Likewise, if you do not enjoy lots of sex in your books, then you probably won't enjoy this either. What was in IN DREAMS BEGIN was steamy. Very, very steamy.
IN DREAMS BEGIN is a great novel with beautifully written prose that will make you stop and think. Yes, this is a thinker book, and there are discussions within its pages (such as: need versus want, what love is, infatuation, freedom, sexuality, imagination...), yet it is not overbearing. At least, it wasn't for me. I found the exploration of these themes to be fun and exciting. For those of you who enjoy light reads, I suggest you avoid this one. For the rest of you, I highly recommend picking it up!