Portland, Oregon 1900
One hell of a rebellion
Headstrong Olivia Mead, daughter of dentist Mead the Mad is a student, journalist, modernist and suffragette. And she should not be any of them.
Or at least that is what society believed. Women should not engage their inferior minds with social matters, nor should they have a voice. Perfect silence, absolute obedience, an utter beauty- that is what the ideal woman was.
When an aspiring new hypnotist arrives in town, everything changes for Olivia. The odds fell into place as Olivia became Henri Reverie first guest on stage. She made the news, along with young hypnotist, Henri Reverie’s, remarkable skills. Skills that were perfect for controlling, perfect for Olivia.
Olivia’s father hired Mr. Reverie to hypnotize his daughter, to cure her of her ‘unladylike dreams’, to make her accept the world as it is. But things turned out otherwise.
Olivia started to see the world as it is, a manifestation of the grim truth, cages, vampires, ghosts, angels, and demons. Who to trust, when to run, were questions she asked herself, but she was unable to speak her mind. People took interest in her, the hypnotist’s masterpiece, the cure for no rights.
Behind society’s’ back, their encounters sparked more than fondness. With the stakes getting higher and more eyes watching, Henri and Olivia would have to pull off one exquisitely staged rebellion.
Magical Realism is the genre of the book, where a mystery is created of the mundane among our physical reality. It is impossible to define the line that sets apart fiction and real existence, for they are “interwoven seamlessly”.
The story has a fairy tale sensation to it as it incorporates urban tales, especially of Dracula. It makes it natural to label a character in reference to the monsters we know so well of. This, along with the language in which the story is told, leaves the readers bewitched by the hypnotizing atmosphere and the historical setting. It gives the society another dimension with paranormal fantasy elements laced with late Victorian America.
Told entirely in first person perspective, the narrating voice (Olivia) includes consistent, descriptive and vivid figurative language. In most cases, the characters and ambiance are compared to fantasy contexts as well as warmth and cold, light and darkness and adding on from that, a push and pull effect, with nail gritting suspense and fluttering awe. (and a risky romance 🙂
There is a balance in the story, a sort of yin and yang, a speck of good in a cruel and arrogant heart. A crucial “turn of events” that drives the story, yet an ironic point is that Olivia’s father wanted to control her, but instead, he lost total control over her mind. And the harder he pushes her down and imprisons her mind, the more defiant she becomes.
Check out Saloni and Arsineh’s blurb poster for the book: