Novel Synopsis: In The Dark Light of Angels
Word Count: 75,636


In the beginning of the novel, Holley has accepted. She has accepted her spiritual commission, which gives her permission to love unconventionally, unconditionally, and to accept that difficulty of that love. She is told in a vision that her lover will die. She has also accepted her increasingly more powerful psychic abilities, a divine curse. She has accepted her lesbian identity and a subsequent move to Salt Lake City to be with Katherine, and finally she has accepted her father’s proposal, to be his photo assistant for the summer though she knows that he doesn’t travel well do to his anxiety disorder. Her father also doesn’t yet know that his only daughter is gay.

As the novel progresses, Holley must deal with her coming out, her anxiety about Katherine’s infidelity, and her worst fear—her vision will be right—Katherine will die. All these events occur against the backdrop of the battlefields where Holley has an uncanny awareness of the suffering associated with the war. Linear time is fragmented as the images weave in and out of the past, present, and future capturing the characters in their suffering, suspending them in moments of time.

The battlefield scenes are marked by Holley’s vivid supernatural experiences. Angels periodically appear like stage directors behind the scenes of consensus reality, to seemingly play with the human actors for reasons only known to them. They fold time just to make things more interesting. Thus begins the undercurrent that time runs in circular dimensions, and the question is raised, how is suffering transcended? Holley will eventually suffer from the loss of her best friend and soul mate, but it is only one death among hundreds and thousands who die in war. As a result of the temporal instability, Holley sees into the bloody past of the battlefields, hears voices of generals, and of soldiers, watches men fall dead on top of each other. The past comes alive with reports from Walt Whitman, Stonewall Jackson, and anonymous slaves. Layering these visions are flashbacks of Holley’s early romance with Katherine, which conveys the depth of their union.

In The Dark Light of Angels is a dark coming of age tale. It is a visionary narrative inspired by the medieval text, The Cloud of Unknowing, where the only way to understand God is through the shadow. In this via negativa, there is “a looking through the glass darkly,” a transverse journey through the dark night of the soul where love and beauty remain an ever transcendent truth. In the Dark Light of Angels is an electric fusion of lesbian drama, Christian mysticism, and social constructs of oppression, both historic and contemporary. It is a love story of operatic proportions. In the Dark Light of Angels is redemption amidst fear, loss, and internal wars.

Read an excerpt here.

In The Dark Light of Angels © Patricia L. Meek

 

Website copyright 2011 Patricia L. Meek
Photography by and copyright A. J. Meek