In Daylight and Darkness
In Daylight and Darkness by Dana Ardis is a truly exceptional fantasy novel that interweaves the dark reality of mental illness with the beauty of the imagination. In this fantastical tale of love, mental health, and magic, Kate is trying to be as normal as possible. She’s eighteen and finally joining the world after six years in a mental institution for schizophrenia. She has gotten rid of her childhood “hallucinations” and is ready to embark on “normalcy.” She makes friends and moves into an adult apartment. She is slowly repairing herself from the traumas of her childhood and trying to learn how to trust her mind again. However, once things finally start to go her way, the inevitable happens.
One morning, her childhood imaginary friend comes back to give her a warning. He’s desperate to convince her that not only is he real, so is the danger that lurks in the shadows. Torn between having faith in what her eyes see and trust in what her doctors say, reality becomes an ever-moving target. She reluctantly agrees to help him despite the worry about her mind slipping back into darkness. Still waters run deep in this book.
Although on the surface it is a fantasy novel about a human falling in love with a man in another dimension, running underneath is a current concerning mental health issues and the strength that comes from listening to oneself. Kate’s narration was often unreliable, which meant that it paralleled the shaky trust she had in herself. It isn’t until halfway through the novel that the reader and Kate finally both get a clear picture of what is and isn’t real.
I found the story intriguing, the love kind and warm, and Kate’s passion to find faith in herself inspiring. The romance plays a secondary role to Kate’s journey, but in a very organic way. Cor, her childhood friend, is the perfect foil to Kate. He is calm and loyal and knows exactly what he wants. Kate shines on her path to self-discovery and Cor is there to fan the flames. I started this book expecting a fun and cheesy fantasy romance and finished it with a different perspective on mental health.
I read the electronic version of this book but enjoyed it so much that I will be looking for a physical copy to keep as my own. I will undoubtedly read this book again and will recommend it to anyone who happens to cross my path.
|Page Count||286 pages|
|Publisher||Feathered Dog Books|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|