Monday, November 8, 2010

A Review of In Dreams Begin

4.25 Fangs for In Dreams Begin by Skyler White

Book Blurb:

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 si├Ęcle 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.

In Dreams Begin is an entrancing surreal escape into dreams and the past. A dance of feelings will surround you throughout this thought provoking, complex and completely engrossing read.

From the moment I started reading I was thrown into this sensual, complicated and trippy dream scape as confused and entranced as the main character Laura but just like her, I wasn't quick to leave. I didn't want to put the book down, I had to know what was going on.

This book is by no means an easy read but it is well worth the effort.

On her wedding night modern day Laura is pulled into the past and into the body of Maud by Ida, an occultist in love with Maud, who accidentally channeled Laura into Maud's body.

For weeks Laura is pulled into the past when she should be drifting into dreamland, all the while her new husband Amit sleeps beside her never knowing his wife has gone into the past to Victorian England and Ireland meeting people that lived long ago, loving people that lived long ago.

I love how actual historical figures like W.B. Yeats are thrown into the story and become so real and so alive for both Laura and the reader.

The addition of Yeats poetry to the beautiful dream scape of the story added an unexpected element that really completed this book. You are left wondering "what if" and "how".

White's research must have been extensive to add such realistic descriptions of history and the settings to make you feel as if you are there.

The backdrop was as real as the characters who were complete with all their feelings and flaws. I think Ida was one of the most complicated characters I've read. She is someone you can relate to, sometimes, then hate at other times. Her motivations pushed her to obsession turning her into a dark character but an interesting one.

In Dreams Begin is a lush, sensual tale that will make you question feelings, thoughts and love. You'll start wondering how strong is love, can love surpass boundaries such as time, do soul mates really exist, and is a metaphysical affair really cheating?

The compelling story blends with history, mythology, folklore and poetry. White's artistic writing style may appear chaotic to some but her poetic thoughts add intensity to the prose which make her books rich reading experiences.

Interested in learning more? Read an excerpt here.

And visit the author at

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