The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky by David Litwack has launched! This fabulous title is available now on all online retailers and in your local book stores. You aren't going to want to miss this new literary journey exploring the clash between reason and faith, and the power of hope and love.
After centuries of religiously motivated war, the world has been split in two. Now the Blessed Lands are ruled by pure faith, while in the Republic, reason is the guiding light—two different realms, kept apart and at peace by a treaty and an ocean. Summary: A mysterious nine-year-old from the Blessed Lands sails into the lives of a couple in the Republic, claiming to be the Daughter of the Sea and the Sky. Is she a troubled child longing to return home, or a powerful prophet sent to unravel the fabric of the Republic? The answer will change the lives of all she meets… and perhaps their world as well.
Author: David Litwack
Genres: Fantasy/Speculative Fiction/ Literary Fiction
Publisher: Evolved Publishing
Author Contacts: Website/Blog/Facebook/Goodreads/Amazon/Twitter/Library Thing
(Reviewer's Note: I would like to thank Mr. Litwack for providing me with a printed copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
This novel caught my attention right away because of the gorgeous cover and beautifully poetic title. I was therefore expecting a delightfully enchanting fantasy. It turned out to be more of a post-apocalyptic tale, with touches of fantasy. It's also much more; it incorporates an analysis of several important themes, such as the paradoxical relationship between faith and reason, the insidious effects of misplaced guilt, the steadfastness of true love, and how the innocence of a special child can hold an amazing wisdom. Adding to this fascinating brew, the author also analyzes the inevitable connection between art and spirituality.
The pivotal, and remarkable, main character is a nine-year-old girl named Kailani. I love her name, too; it's an exotic one that immediately made me think of Hawaiian religious beliefs. In fact, the god of the Blessed Lands is named Lord Kanakunai.
Young as she is, Kailani has set sail from the Blessed Lands to the land of the soulless -- as her people call the Republic, the land where Reason rules -- on a mysterious mission that is not revealed until the very last pages of the novel.
The other two main characters are Jason and Helena, residents of the Republic, who discover the young girl and bring her ashore, just as her frail boat collides with the rocks and is destroyed.
The two young people take an immediate interest in and liking to Kailani, who answers their concerned questions by simply stating that she's The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky. They are unable to obtain any more information from her. Unfortunately, they soon find themselves having to turn the child over to the authorities, and Kailani is detained, pending further questioning.
Thanks to the help of Carlson, a civil servant with a conscience (a very appealing, compassionate character), Jason and Helena succeed in having the little girl transferred, in their custody, to an art colony headed by another wonderful character -- Sebastian.
The plot of this novel is gentle, gradually developing as the characters are inevitably drawn into the mystery that is Kailani. She seems to speak in riddles, yet these apparent riddles are really very wise sayings. The story moves along, one detail after another unraveling, and the reader follows the trail laid by the author, delighted and mystified at the same time. This is a novel of inner quests and spiritual growth, written in impeccable prose.
Without really meaning to, Kailani has a definite impact on everyone she meets. Her calm, secure acceptance of the world of Spirit impresses everyone, precisely because she is so sure about its existence. Kailani is totally unfazed when Helena repeatedly tells her that she doesn't believe in myths.
I loved the underlying, yet also important, plot of the novel, which is the gradually evolving romance between Jason and Helena. As the mystery of the wise child deepens, they find their love tested in unexpected ways. They also discover that love, in its highest aspect, is something spiritual.
Most of the novel takes place at what Sebastian calls, simply, "The Farm". The place is self-sustained, and is very similar to a late 1960s commune. People go there for inner healing, and many have found it through crafting, painting, and sculpture. Art thus leads to the finding of the true self, a self nurtured by Spirit. This is very much evident in the case of Martha, Helena's mother, who finds comfort and peace in crafting jewelry. When Kailani arrives, Martha rapidly bonds with her. This is a source of distress for Helena, because of the strained relationship she herself has with her mother.
Litwack connects storytelling with spirituality, as well. In fact, one of the statues on the grounds is known as "Grandmother Storyteller".
This is a tale of the heart and soul, of the beautiful yearning for meaning, and of how it can be found in the union of faith and reason, as well as in creativity.
Everything, Litwack seems to say, points to Spirit. In this novel, nature itself embodies the spiritual world. The farm's overseer, Sebastian, knows this well, for he has been at the farm for many years, and is completely attuned to the rhythm of the seasons.
I'm delighted to have truly found nothing negative to say about this book. The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky is a beautiful, moving novel, one that I predict will become an instant classic, especially in the literature of spirituality. It is a novel to be treasured and re-read many times, not only for its beauty, but for its thought-provoking treatment of universal themes.
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