The Hour of Daydreams
At a river near his home in the Philippine countryside, respected doctor Manolo Lualhati encounters the unthinkable--a young woman with wings. After several incredible visits, he coaxes her to stay behind--to quit flying to the stars with her sisters each night--so they can marry. Tala agrees, but soon finds herself grounded in a new life where she must negotiate Manolo's parents' well-intentioned scrutiny. As Tala tries to keep long-held family secrets from her new husband, Manolo begins questioning the gaps in her stories, and his suspicions push him even further from the truth. Weaving in the perspectives of Manolo's parents, Tala's siblings, and the all-seeing housekeeper, The Hour of Daydreams delves into contemporary issues of identity and trust in marriage, while exploring how myths can take root from the seeds of our most difficult truths.
- Paperback | 232 pages
- 152 x 228 x 17.78mm | 385.55g
- 30 Mar 2017
- Forest Avenue Press
- OR, United States
Back cover copy
Manolo Lualhati, a respected doctor in the Philippine countryside, believes his wife hides a secret. Prior to their marriage, he spied her wearing wings and flying to the stars with her sisters each evening. As Tala tries to keep her dangerous past from her new husband, Manolo begins questioning the gaps in her stories--and his suspicions push him even further from the truth. The Hour of Daydreams, a contemporary reimagining of a Filipino folktale, weaves in the perspectives of Tala's siblings, her new in-laws, and the all-seeing housekeeper while exploring trust, identity, and how myths can take root from the seeds of our most difficult truths.
"With its enticing undertow of secrets and magic, The Hour of Daydreams will seduce readers with its reverence for mystery, its gentle humor, and its deep empathy for its characters' longings and losses. Sometimes it takes a village to tell a story as extraordinary as this--and Renee Macalino Rutledge has managed to do just that." -- Cristina Garcia, author of King of Cuba and Dreaming in Cuban "The Hour of Daydreams isn't just a wonderful book--it's a lyrical and poetic journey, one that's simultaneously magical, surprising, and mesmerizing. It's a love story, fable, fairy tale, and contemporary novel woven together with seamless thread, reminiscent of Isabel Allende. A brilliant start to a beautiful literary career." -- Erin Entrada Kelly, author of The Land of Forgotten Girls "Macalino Rutledge's debut novel is a tale of dreams and secrets and what is hidden inside a marriage, and what cannot be denied. The writing is vivid and evocative, the world richly textured and alive. Here the duende speaks!" -- Micheline Aharonian Marcom, author of Three Apples Fell From Heaven "Renee Macalino Rutledge's The Hour of Daydreams is a stirring and haunting exploration of marriage, culture, and gender roles. You will find yourself cheering for Tala and Manolo as they stumble through fears and desires, and you will celebrate the choral narration with its multiple perspectives on love and community. This debut novel is a delicate weaving of mythology and everyday lives and it is a necessary addition to the literature of the Filipina diaspora." -- Daisy Hernandez, author of A Cup of Water Under My Bed: A Memoir "A beautiful book that collapses the boundaries between reality and fairy tale, The Hour of Daydreams is both gritty and poetic. The atmosphere is fresh and vivid, like a broad green leaf shimmering with raindrops." -- Elena Mauli Shapiro, author of 13, Rue Therese and In the Red "Reading The Hour of Daydreams is like waltzing with words as Renee weaves folktale with the sweet and deceptive love story of Manolo and Tala. Be prepared for the moments the story shifts to folktale. The brief detours will quickly bring you back to Manolo and Tala, so enjoy the language, savor the images, and tuck them in your pocket. They are clues to secrets that will be revealed. As a reader, I am enchanted by Tala, just as the characters in the book are. As an English teacher, I am enchanted by Renee's brilliant and lyrical writing." -- Karen Sargent, author of Waiting for Butterflies "Renee Rutledge's beautifully crafted novel examines marriage, family, and identity. Inspired by a Filipino folktale, Rutledge deftly knits fable and contemporary story to explore the power of secrets in everyday lives. This lyrical, stirring first novel invites the reader to linger and dream." -- Kate Brandes, author of The Promise of Pierson Orchard "It may be difficult for some cultures today to reconcile the tales and superstitions of earlier generations with modern society, yet we lose something when we forget about the past. In The Hour of Daydreams ... fables may help us understand and embrace certain truths about our background, family, and community, and come to terms with who we really are and what we value. Ultimately, this is a story about human connection, ambition, and dreams. It reminded me of an old saying: If you love someone, set them free. I enjoyed reading this story as I would read a poem, open to the possibilities." -- Sandi Ward, author of The Astonishing Thing "Confident and imaginative storytelling ... Renee Macalino Rutledge tells the story of Tala and Manolo--their unusual meeting, love affair, and the complexity of their marriage--all in prose that is lyrical and mesmerizing. Multiple perspectives weave together and explore the secrets that lurk between lovers, friends, and family members. The Hour of Daydreams has stuck with me since I finished reading it. I'm still absorbing it and thinking about it, which is always a good sign that a story has dug its way into my bloodstream." -- Elise Hooper, author of The Other Alcott
About Renee Macalino Rutledge
Renee Macalino Rutledge was born in Manila, Philippines and raised in Alameda, California, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She received her bachelor of arts in English from UC Berkeley and master of fine arts in English and Creative Writing from Mills College. A long-time local journalist, her articles on arts and culture, parenting, and lifestyle have appeared in ColorLines, Filipinas Magazine, Oakland and Alameda Magazine, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, The East Bay Monthly, The Children's Advocate, Parents' Press, and others. Her reporting on minority issues facing Filipinos was nominated for a New American Media Award and New California Media Award by the editors of Filipinas Magazine. Her creative writing has been published in Red Earth Review, Mutha Magazine, and Ford City Anthology, and is forthcoming in the 2017 Women of Color Anthology.