The Place Beyond Her Dreams
Momma Leighellen's Book Review
The Place Beyond Her Dreams is a YA fantasty book inspired by Oby Aligwekwe’s West African heritage.
“We are most courageous at our weakest; when we believe we have faced what we fear the most and have nothing more to lose.” – Oby Aligwekwe, The Place Beyond Her Dreams
Oby Aligwekwe’s Young Adult debut The Place Beyond Her Dreams is set against the backdrop of two warring towns. It is inspired by her West African heritage, fables, and spiritual beliefs. The journey reveals the power of choice, the true source of happiness, and, most importantly, the transformation one must go through to realize and eventually occupy their purpose.
At the sudden death of her grandfather, Ona’s pain transports her to mystical Luenah. It is a place of infinite possibilities, free of turf wars and other ills that plague the earthly dimension she lives in. In Luenah, her grandfather awaits her and Ona learns she is an Eri. She is given a unique intuitive and spiritual gifts passed down from generation-to-generation.
On her eighteenth birthday, she returns to Luenah and is handed a box to deposit her ‘exchange’ for love and happiness—her greatest desires. Burdened by her quest, Ona crosses paths with danger and heartbreak as the two men that love her dearly are viciously pitted against each other. As evil looms, she learns that dreams carry a hefty price, and no one is who they seem. Now, she must unmask the villain and save the one she loves, even at the risk of losing everything she holds dear.
Question 1:This story is so unique, what was the inspiration behind this story?
Answer 1: Inspired by a dream, I felt a strong urge to write something that would speak to younger generations about the transformation required to discover and eventually occupy their purpose.
Question 2: What made you want to write about a dream realm?
Answer 2: Modern-day solutions are offered by people that can dream, and then bring the visions and prophesies to life.
Question 3: What sort of research did you have to do for this book?
Answer 3: Very minimal for the romance and magical aspects. For the self-help portion, it took delving into, and dissecting knowledge acquired from years of listening to elders and self-help experts share their beliefs about finding purpose and the consequences of personal decisions.
Question 4: How long did it take you to write it?
Answer 4: Three months putting down the story and two years to fine-tune and polish.
Question 5: What are you currently reading?
Answer 5: A book from my Dad’s library – The Witnesses by M. W. Waring
Question 7: What is your favorite book/books?
Answer 7: Is it weird if I say my first novel, Nfudu: Skirts, Ties & Taboos? I wrote the book I wanted to read and I’ve read it several times since.
Question 8: Are you working on another book yet?
Answer 8: I’m working on a children’s book series and a non-fiction series to help women find their place in the world, heal from hurt, and navigate obstacles that prevent them from living their purpose.
This book has a little bit of everything that I enjoy in a good YA story – a love triangle, action and adventure, and magical elements. It is a coming of age story that follows a young girl who’s family takes in a house boy. After her grandfather dies she falls in love with the boy and learns she has the power to travel in her sleep. She meets up in this dream state with her grandfather who provides direction.
The authors writing is descriptive and engaging, the plot is clever and the suspense gripping. I love that while there is magic, this book is more about life, family, and coming into ones own. There is so much character depth and the dreamy vibe is thought provoking and provides a tender touch during some heavier scenes.
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