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By DeLaune Michel

Hypnotic and fantastically written, Aftermath of Dreaming is an incandescent first novel of odern lifestyles and love. except the little challenge that she is waking up screaming in the course of the evening, lifestyles is brilliant for Yvette Broussard. Her jewelry-design occupation is starting up, she's again along with her sort-of boyfriend, and, better of all, she now not thinks approximately her once-in-a-lifetime love, foreign celebrity Andrew Madden. until eventually an opportunity come upon with him alterations every little thing. Swept up by way of stories in their advanced courting, Yvette is plunged into an obsession with Andrew that eventually forces her to confront the previous she inspiration she had left in the back of. even as, she is juggling the calls for of her bride-to-be sister and her male ally, who's jealous of alternative males, and innovations of her estranged father. Set opposed to the glittering worlds of l. a. and ny, and advised with either humor and pathos, Aftermath of Dreaming explores the common subject matters of abandonment, forgiveness, and letting pass.

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I sat in my best effort at the lotus position and repeated her mantra (syllables whose vibrations engender love and compassion to yourself and all sentient beings, meaning animals, too, and plants, I think) over and over in my head. A few weeks into this, once her mantra came easy and fast like a lullaby I could sing without knowing I remembered the words, a feeling would come over me, or up from within, of being comforted and held in Kuan-En’s warm arms. It reminded me exactly of how I had felt as a child when I’d pray to Mary after waking up in the middle of the night from a bad dream.

Anyway. On the day I wore the black slip and saw my mother’s forehead on a stranger in that furniture store, I had finally reached the refuge of my truck and was letting the sobs come out. It was horrendously hot, as I said, so the windows were down, and I was crying freely, safe in the false invisibility that vehicles provide, when suddenly a man stuck his head inside the cab and yelled, “Are you all right? ” I jumped in such fright it stopped my tears. “You were attacked, weren’t you, miss? ” I tried to comprehend what he was saying.

Then seven months later, right after I turned fourteen, when Daddy left us, I didn’t have to put slips on at all anymore because Momma barely left her bedroom. —people go around as if they are constantly in the middle of a workout—I wear slips by themselves. Or used to. I’m actually more careful about that now, since an incident almost two years ago on a summer day right after Momma died, a day when the tears didn’t so much stop as just sit right below the surface all lined up waiting for one errant memory to trip their flow.

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