THE PLACE BEYOND HER DREAMS
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2021 National Indie Excellence Awards Winner for Young Adult Fiction!
2021 Indies Book of the Year Awards Finalist for Young Adult Fiction!
2021 Best Book Awards Finalist for Young Adult Fiction!
“We are most courageous at our weakest; when we believe we have faced what we fear the most and have nothing more to lose.”
Set against the backdrop of two warring towns, Oby Aligwekwe’s Young Adult debut—told from the viewpoint of her main character—is inspired by her West African heritage, fables, and spiritual beliefs. Ona’s journey reveals the power of choice, the true source of happiness, and, most importantly, the transformation one must go through to realize and eventually occupy their purpose.
At the sudden death of her grandfather, Ona’s pain transports her to mystical Luenah—a place of infinite possibilities, free of turf wars and other ills that plague the earthly dimension she lives in. In Luenah, where her grandfather awaits her, Ona learns she is an Eri, one bestowed with unique intuitive and spiritual gifts passed down from generation-to-generation.
On her 18th birthday, she returns to Luenah and is handed a box to deposit her "exchange" for love and happiness—her greatest desires. Burdened by her quest, Ona crosses paths with danger and heartbreak as the two men that love her dearly are viciously pitted against each other. As evil looms, she learns that dreams carry a hefty price, and no one is who they seem. Now, she must unmask the villain and save the one she loves, even at the risk of losing everything she holds dear.
“Young adults and older readers will be enchanted by this fantasy's magic, romance, and life lessons.” (Booklife by Publishers Weekly)
Read an Excerpt
As my mind went around in circles pondering the purpose of their visit, as I’d become accustomed to, I caught a glimpse of the future—a small flash of Okem’s face staring intently at me. Before I could make any sense of what I’d seen, and figure out if it was good, bad, or completely inconsequential, my grandfather called me back to earth. Okem had taken the seat next to the couple and proceeded to watch me. I followed his gaze and noticed he’d been admiring the sparkly red shoes my grandfather got me the last time he visited London. “Dorothy’s shoes,” Papa had called them. They reminded him of the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz.
“Hello,” I said, grinning and waving my hand slowly when Okem looked up and gave me a faint smile.
“Hi,” he responded, leaning uncomfortably into his seat and locking his ankles.
One look at his clothes told me he was of a lower status. His intonation didn’t help matters. Before I got the chance to complete my assessment, my grandfather announced, “It’s concluded. Okem will stay with us. We’ll take care of him like our own. There’s no need to worry. He’ll go to school with all the other kids in the town, and in the future, he may even become a doctor and make you proud.”
Hearing my grandfather tell total strangers that their son would come to our house and distort the dynamics I’d only just become accustomed to, created the tightest feeling in the pit of my stomach. I remember wondering why my grandfather had not forewarned me.
Right then, I heard my grandmother calling.
I excused myself and left the room. After a few steps, the image I’d seen earlier came back to me.
“Grandma,” I called, taking a second to stare at her delicately aging face. I admired the way the wrinkles formed a crescent around her mouth.
“Yes?” she answered, raising her brows.
About the Author:Oby Aligwekwe is the award-winning author of Nfudu, Hazel House, and The Place Beyond Her Dreams—her third novel and Young Adult debut. In 2021, The Place Beyond Her Dreams won the National Indie Excellence Awards in the Young Adult Fiction Category.
When Oby is not working on her day job or whipping up stories, she enjoys traveling to exotic locations and bringing pieces of her travel with her. She lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her family and supports her community through her charity Éclat Beginnings.
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