“Close your eyes tightly—tightly—and keep them closed . . .”
From a Victorian Ireland of magic, poetry and rebellion, Ida Jameson, an amateur occultist, reaches out for power, but captures Laura Armstrong, a modern-day graphic artist instead. Now, for the man or demon she loves, each woman must span a bridge through Hell and across history . . . or destroy it.
“Every passionate man is linked with another age, historical or imaginary, where alone he finds images that rouse his energy.” W. B. Yeats
Anchored in fact on both sides of history, Laura and Ida, modern rationalist and fin de siècle occultist, are linked from the moment Ida channels Laura into the body of celebrated beauty and Irish freedom-fighter Maud Gonne. When Laura falls—from an ocean and a hundred years away—passionately, Victorianly in love with the young poet W. B. Yeats, their love affair entwines with Irish history and weaves through Yeats’s poetry until Ida discovers something she wants more than magic in the subterranean spaces in between.
With her Irish past threatening her orderly present and the man she loves in it, Laura and Yeats—the practical materialist and the poet magus—must find a way to make love last over time, in changing bodies, through modern damnation, and into the mythic past to link their pilgrim souls . . . or lose them forever.This is a story of love and all the aspects of love. Lost love, found love, marital love, true love, spiritual love, physical and mistaken love. Love that grows because of the attention it receives and not of some mystical aspect of a conjurer. It also touches on the concept of damnation but not fully. Perhaps this might be the author's concept of the opposite of love? The poetry of WB Yeats is followed throughout the book to make the path for the story and in fact, makes Yeats an important character. It also follows the lives and dreams of Laura, Ida, and Maud. All with differing agendas but motivated by their view of true love or redemption.
This was a story you had to work at when reading. The connections did not come easily. The shifting POV, not only between characters but between time periods as well as either physical or spiritual settings could be quite jarring. It brought me out of the book at times, but when settled into a specific time or person it became interesting. I appreciated the snippets of a diary page or letter inserted between chapters to fill in the blanks that would have otherwise left me wondering.
I give this book 3 stars. It is interesting, but I don't think it is for everyone. It makes you think and work at putting all the pieces together. It is far from a light quick read. It delves into philosophy and poetry and those are always things you must work to find a place in one's conscience. So, bear that in mind.
I was given this book by Skyler White for my honest review. No compensation was given.