Homecoming, the Novel

The Story At A Glance

BOOK I: SEEMING. Present day, New York City. Anna, an ambitious clinical psychology grad intern, interviews an amnesiac mental patient John Doe, who claims he’s traveled time and space by means of a powerful magic. Anna, who is ashamed of not being able to remember her own dreams, is intrigued by him and his apparent insight into her own soul; also she is fascinated by his androgynous beauty. After he gets a hold of Anna’s old good luck charm – a crystal pendant – John undergoes a magical transformation, resulting in him remembering his past. Upon release, instead of the homeless shelter, John ends up in Anna’s apartment. Incredulous Anna listens as he launches into his story.

BOOK II: LONGING. 7th century Northumbria. A young Angle virgin of a noble Fairfax family miraculously becomes pregnant with what she claims is an elf child, dies after giving birth to a son she names Yaret. Distraught, her twin brother Alric becomes a devout Christian. Yaret is a beautiful although a very eccentric boy, endowed with supernatural gifts. His early life is full of confusion, until he runs into a witch Caireann, who becomes his mentor in the ways of magic and manhood. But the idyll is not meant to last, and Yaret is forced to leave home. He travels with his uncle to the heart of Western Christendom, Rome, where another kind of education awaits him. When he returns to Northumbria, he struggles to reconcile his Otherworldly and his Human nature.

BOOK III: AWAKENING. John’s fantastic account convinces Anna that he sincerely believes himself to be a half-elf from the 7th century. When she demands palpable proof of his magic powers, John performs demonstrations that could be interpreted as either masterful illusions or something truly supernatural. Although Anna tries to establish some boundaries, by the time the weekend is over it’s clear he’s not going anywhere. She is still short of a diagnosis, instead falling under John’s charm. His intimate knowledge of her forgotten dreams seems to reflect a shared experience. She begins to recall her dreams, slowly realizing she’s known John from her imaginary adventures in the Otherworld, except there he was a villain, the haughty sorcerer Yaret. He, however, claims they are soul mates, and encourages Anna to embrace mystery as he tries to embrace humanity. In the meantime, her life starts to unravel. Her playing house with a mental patient scandalizes Anna’s fiancé and family, and her new insights cause problems at the hospital. Her notions of reality shaken, Anna experiences a complete mental breakdown. As a part of treatment, she puts her childhood memories on paper.

BOOK IV: REMEMBERING (aka PRINT IN THE SNOW). Fourteen-year-old Anna has just moved to New York City with her mother and new stepfather. She resents everything about her new life, and so, to spite her mother, she defiantly sneaks out to ski in the park. Much to her surprise she meets another cross-country skier, an attractive boy about her own age, who has something of an unreal quality about him. Against her better judgment, she follows him into what turns out to be a snow-covered netherworld inhabited by monstrous creatures known as Wyssun’ as well as by the Skiers who hunt them. Accepted by the peculiar Skiers as one of their own, she becomes trapped in the Wyssun’ World. Run by elves, and not the Keebler kind, it is a confusing and dangerous place. Anna must get back home before the fairy tale turns into a nightmare. Of course, the way home is shorter than she might think.

BOOK V: HOMECOMING. The price for a taste of magic is high: Anna is fired from the hospital, broken up with her fiancé, forced to take a hiatus from her dissertation. In only seven days, Yaret/John has succeeded in ruining Anna’s well-ordered life by making her question reality, and breaking her heart. When he shows up at her door again, Anna knows better than to trust him. She is convinced that there is no room for magic in her life. She would never wear the crystal pendant again. But nothing is what it seems, so there are still some lessons she’ll have to learn. Desire creates reality, and Anna must make her own choice to create a reality of her own desire.

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