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In Dreams Begin Paperback – November 2, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade; Original edition (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425236951
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425236956
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,674,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This peculiar time travel romance will please realists who grump when modern heroines easily abandon their commitments and expectations once in the past, but White (And Falling, Fly) ends up treating the past as disposable instead. Lanky, soccer-playing graphic artist Laura can't remember the details of her present-day life after her spirit takes over the body of 19th-century Irish activist Maud Gonne, thanks to a spell cast by Gonne's envious lover, Ida. Nonetheless, she retains her ironic, self-doubting personality and starts up a romance with poet William Butler Yeats to satisfy her narcissistic desire for love without consequences. It's not so clear what Yeats loves about Laura. Her repeated self-justification gets old quickly, as do Ida's machinations. The thoughtful, plausible happy ending is sweet, but Laura's casual manipulation of the historical characters--who are real to themselves if not to her--leaves a bitter aftertaste. (Nov.) (c)
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Review

"Pain, ecstasy, intimacy, passion, fear, yearning and hope ... a fairytale unlike any I have read ... flows in elegant verse [and] around the characters and their deepest and sometimes darkest wishes." --Intense Whisper book review blog

"In Dreams Begin will leave you drunk on words ... You're 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." --Paperback Dolls

"Victorian London and Ireland? Check. Occult practices? Check. Poetic historical figures? Check. Gorgeously written sensuality? Check. Happiness spread across my face from this amazing book? Double Check." --Read All Over

"This modern gothic romance is dark, thoughtful, and beautifully written.  If looking for a book that stands apart from others and leaves a lasting impression, definitely pick up In Dreams Begin." --BookingIt

"Complex and sensual, Skyler White's In Dreams Begin will leave you thinking in ways you never thought possible. She will challenge you to take a look at love and desire and decide what it means to you." --Single Titles

More About the Author

Skyler White writes angels and scientists, demons and revolutionaries, secret societies and sacred sex to play in the places where myth and modernity tangle.

The child of two college professors, Skyler grew up in an environment of scholarship and academic rigor, so she naturally left high school to pursue a career in ballet. She's been dancing around research and thinking through sprains ever since. She has a master's degree in theater and work experience in advertising, has won awards as a stage director and appeared on reality TV. She is mother of two, married to a Mohawk-wearing inventor, and lives in Texas.

Customer Reviews

I loved that Skyler recreated a person's past.
Tori
When the story shifts -- even frustratingly in the middle of something -- it feels natural and real, not gimmicky.
MistyBookRat
The story is interesting, the writing poetic, and I love the way it makes me feel.
Jan Y.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Baumann VINE VOICE on December 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
Plot Summary: Career-minded Laura has just gotten married, and she admits that she's not crazy-in-love with her husband, Amit. She's an unromantic sort of person, so when she dreams of a trip back in time to Victorian England, and she meets a handsome poet, she figures her subconscious has some issues to work out. Laura soon realizes that her trips back in time are real, and she's divided between the past and the present.

In Dreams Begin started out so well, but at some point I was left behind in the dust. Well, I'm getting ahead of myself. The story opens with modern couple Laura and Amit on their wedding day. The bride wore black, because she's practical enough to want to use the dress again, and on their wedding night Laura dreams that she's transported into the body of an Irish woman 100 years into the past named Maud Gonne. Except it's no dream.

Skyler White's novel has a fantastic premise and I was pretty much in love with the first part of the book, but then it went no where and it did nothing. On that first foray into the past, Laura meets the poet W. B Yeats ("call me Will") while in Maud's beautiful body, and the reader is supposed to believe that they literally fall in love at first sight. I might have been able to buy this premise if their subsequent meetings built on this miraculous emotional connection, but it seemed to me that it was all about their sexual escapades, and I find those kinds of romances hollow and false. My frustration over this relationship made the rest of the book a difficult to swallow.

What carried me to the end was the dark eroticism that Skyler White writes so well, and the hope that Laura would come to some kind of epiphany. I only wish that I was as satisfied with the ending as the heroine herself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By modemeter on November 30, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read a lot of time-travel books, and Skyler's take on a modern woman's experience falling into Victorian Britain through a magical rite is one of the most sensual, satisfying, and unusual ones I've found. The book is dense, more poetry than prose in many ways, and weaves together the stories of many relationships into a tight cord so that it's hard to put down. It reminds me of Iris Murdoch in its richness. It's delightful to have White's second book share a few details with her first but otherwise be a very different story, and I can't wait to see what she decides to share next.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kelly (Fantasy Literature) VINE VOICE on November 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
For better or for worse, I have a habit of comparing books to other books. It helps me sort out my own thoughts, and it makes recommendations easier, of the "If you liked X, you'll like Y" variety. A complex book like Skyler White's _In Dreams Begin_ is hard to pin down. When a comparison finally did come to me, it was this: Reading _In Dreams Begin_ felt like finishing Robert Holdstock's Lavondyss: Journey to an Unknown Region (A Novel of the Mythago Cycle) and A.S. Byatt's Possession on the same day, then going to bed and having a strange, sensual dream.

Like White's previous novel, and Falling, Fly, _In Dreams Begin_ features two point-of-view characters. One is Laura Armstrong, a graphic artist in modern-day Portland. The other is Ida Jameson, a Victorian woman with an interest in the occult. On Laura's wedding night, she's spirited back to the past by one of Ida's experiments in spiritualism, and into the body of Ida's friend Maud Gonne. When Maud has her fateful first meeting with William Butler Yeats, it's really Laura behind Maud's eyes, and a passionate attraction sparks between the two. Laura is torn between her waking life with her new husband and the romantic dreams (or are they dreams?) that take her back every night to Maud's body and Will's love. The timelines don't run at the same speed, though, and Laura returns each night to find months or years have passed in Will's time.

Ida has a fascinating character arc of her own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lady Rogue (Escape Between The Pages) on November 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
In Dreams Begin is a tale that moves back and forth in time from present day to Victorian Ireland. It is about the lives of three women whose lives are intertwinded, Laura, Ida, and Maud. Ida Jameson, an occultist accidently channeled present- day Laura through friend and medium Maud.

At first, Laura believed that the visits to the past were nothing more than dreams, as they only happened when she slept. So, while her new husband, Amit was physically in bed with her...her mind travelled through time and inhabited the body of Maud in the past. While on her dream trip, she met W. B. Yeats. The attraction was instant and thus began a star cross love affair. She began to question what was real and what wasn't. Did she love the man in her bed, or the man in her dreams? As a reader, I couldn't help but wonder...was it infidelity to have a relationship ...even if it was metaphysical? Did I judge Laura for it?

After being refused entrance into a theosophical society, her love for Maud, and her control of Laura, Ida's obsession consumed her and she inadvertantly opened the channel for something darker. I think Ida was an interesting character. In some ways, I sympathized with her fustration and kinda liked her for it. Just when she thought her goals were about to be accomplished, they somehow failed to be acheived.. I can relate to that kind of fustration. I think anyone can. Yet, other times... I couldn't stand her. I didn't like her piting herself and abusing her friendships. I think her choices made her ugly and in some sense evil.

The men of this tale added an interesting element. I couldn't help but feel sorry for Yeats. All the sacrifices he made for his love. I don't think I could be that generous or that patient. I don't know how I felt about Amit.
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