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

In the mid-1990s, twenty-four-year-old Holly accepted a spiritual commission, permitting her to love unconventionally and unconditionally. She has a vision that her lover, Katherine, will die. She has accepted her father’s proposal to be his photo assistant for the summer, photographing Civil War Battlefields from Louisiana to Pennsylvania. Their relationship is strained, but she hopes they can find some common ground during the trip. She doubts the fidelity of her relationship with Katherine and is troubled by her increasing visions appearing against the backdrop of the battlefields. Linear time becomes fragmented as images weave in and out of the past, present, and future capturing characters from the past in their suffering, suspending them in moments of time.

The battlefield scenes are marked by Holly’s vivid supernatural experiences. Angels periodically appear like stage directors behind the scenes of consensus reality, folding time to seemingly play with the human actors for reasons only known to them. Thus begins the undercurrent that time runs in circular dimensions, and raises the question, how is suffering transcended? Holly will eventually suffer the loss of Katherine, but it is only one death among hundreds and thousands who die in war. As a result of the temporal instability, Holly sees into the bloody past of the battlefields, hears the voices of generals and of soldiers, and sees 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 Holly’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 negative, 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 historical 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


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