Publisher : ECLAT Books (March 12, 2021)
Language : English
Paperback : 285 pages
ISBN-10 : 1775106446
At the sudden death of her grandfather, Ona’s pain drives her to mystical Luenah—a place of infinite possibilities. There, she discovers she is an Eri, chosen to accomplish a special purpose on earth, and is handed a box in exchange for what she desires the most.
Burdened by her quest, Ona learns that dreams carry a hefty price, and no one is who they seem. As evil looms, she must unmask the villain and save the one she loves, even at the risk of losing everything she holds dear.
Set against the backdrop of two warring towns, The Place Beyond Her Dreams delivers life lessons using a powerful fable. This coming-of-age fantasy takes the reader on the path to self-discovery and demonstrates the transformation one must go through to realize and eventually occupy their purpose.
The Place Beyond Her Dreams blends magic with real-world issues of cultural interactions, abuse, and tragedy. It will attract both fantasy and contemporary readers by blending these two scenarios, adding Ona's first-person perceptions about her changed circumstances and her role in transforming them.
The story's unique combination of forays into self and the wider world create compelling scenarios in which the determined young woman must achieve the impossible to set things right and regain her life.
Young adults ages 13 and up will find The Place Beyond Her Dreams an inviting, thought-provoking adventure that surveys family, communities, and the power and consequences of personal decisions. ―D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
Oby Aligwekwe (Hazel House) transports readers in her debut YA novel, part fairy tale romance and part realistic fiction rooted in West African traditions and folk tales. Protagonist Ona has had the gift of "intuition," or seeing into the future, since the age of seven; when her beloved grandfather dies, she realizes she can travel between her hometown of Ntebe and an idyllic dreamland called Luenah. In Luenah, she learns the power of manifestation- manifesting her thoughts in physical reality-and is sent back to Ntebe on a quest to find her purpose and "give something back to humanity."
Aligwekwe shines in her development of characters, each offering an avenue to reflect on the ways social class unfairly dictates daily lives and relationships. Ona's ultimate goal is to find "love and happiness," but she's not sure if that love will be with Albert-the handsome crown prince of Ide, a town involved in border clashes with Ntebe-or Okem, her childhood best friend and household servant. Will she find happiness with her one true love despite their differing social statuses, or become a Queen and bring peace to Ide and Ntebe? "I don't know how people will feel about me marrying someone of a lower status than me," Ona says. "They will castigate me and wonder why I gave up comfort."
Although branded as fantasy, the majority of the narrative takes place in the real world rather than Luenah, a choice that might disappoint readers desiring the fantastic. Despite this, Aligwekwe deftly weaves commentary on colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism into an appealing and suspenseful story of love and whimsy. She presents many nuggets of wisdom as Ona seeks her life's purpose while emphasizing that "Two things must occur for love to be manifested. The first is to believe you're worthy of love. The second is to love yourself." Young adults and older readers will be enchanted by this fantasy's magic, romance, and life lessons. ―Booklife by Publishers Weekly
2021 National Indie Excellence Awards Winner in Young Adult Fiction!
The Place Beyond Her Dreams by Oby Aligwekwe is a young adult fantasy adventure I really enjoyed. She also authored two other books, Nfudu and Hazel House, and this book is her YA debut. She is only a gifted and talented author but she is also a fantastic inspirational speaker and supports her community through her charity, Eclat Beginnings.
The Place Beyond Her Dreams is told from the point of view of our protagonist Ona - who discovers that she is an Eri with special gifts and finds herself at the crossroads between two men who are after her heart. Inspired by Oligwekwe's West African heritage and myths, this adventure story with a formidable heroine is a great story that transports the readers to far away lands but with relatable and timely themes of love, family and dealing with loss and grief.
I found this book to be amazing and
Oby Aligwekwe is the author of Nfudu and Hazel House. Her Young Adult debut, The Place Beyond Her Dreams, takes readers on a magical journey to discover what matters most. A talented writer, Oby is also an inspirational speaker and a chartered accountant. She lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her family and supports her community through her charity Éclat Beginnings.