A Midnight Reverie
The story of how a fragile, broken girl is transformed into a young woman whose battle scars speak of the ashes she once was…and the victor she has become.
about the book
Everything was perfect.
If Lillian had ever dreamed of a fairytale life, this was it. Everything was falling into place. Her Prince Charming – her knight in shining armor – had captured her heart entirely, and as though that were not beautiful enough, she had his heart as well. She had Matt, and there was nothing else she desired.
How could she have known that in one brief moment, her fairytale would turn into a tragedy?
The debut novel of Beatrice Manuel, the story of Lillian Jones is both heartrendering and heartwarming. Forced into an early adulthood to take care of not only herself but the lives that depend upon her, Lillian struggles to heal from her fairytale-gone-wrong and find the love and beauty that still remains in her life.
A Midnight Reverie is the story of how a fragile, broken girl is transformed into a young woman whose battle scars speak of the ashes she once was…and the victor she has become.
If for every person there’s another, I had found my other. I guess somewhere along the way I had always known, he’d always been there. But putting together the pieces, and taking every step of the journey is what made it the most beautiful.
A sneak peek
The cries of the seagulls echoed in the distance as I stood within a corner amongst the others that had gathered around. Closing my eyes, I tried to listen but the words of the priest never reached me. They were but a haze of distant noise in the background as my mind focused on one thing only.
Giving my whole self to the truth of your existence isn’t as easy as it might seem for others. I’ve been to many funerals in my life; one even belonging to my father but the numbness I feel now is a stranger to my emotions. I’ve always been flexible to change, capable of responding the right way and knowing what to do but standing here, at a funeral ceremony that belongs to you, I’m lost.
I know that you’re still here, just hiding behind the corner somewhere. You’re waiting to pop out at the exact right moment, just like you used to when we were kids. But if that’s true, why is it that you haven’t found us? Why is it that we feel this pain that shouldn’t ever have come to be if this were just a game?
My eyes lifted and flickered to the faces of the people gathered around me. The expressions varied from pain, depression, remorse… Each had a different story to tell of what they thought of your vanishing. Amy stood by me, her face stoic as she kept her eyes on the priest’s face, shutting everything else out. She’d put on a veil of utter calmness and maturity as if she could easily handle things; it was a lie. Joseph supported Diana as she wept silently to herself, her eyes refusing to meet the coffin inside which you lay. Mom stood to my left and her face was expressionless as Amy’s as she watched the moments pass by her in complete silence.
I could feel the tears start to pierce my eyes as my emotions drifted from numbness to a hurting. This couldn’t be happening. I didn’t want to be here. It only proved my acceptance of the lie that I believed you’re gone. But I didn’t want to…
I stepped away and let go of Amy’s hand as I turned my back on the funeral, starting to walk towards the entrance gates of the cemetery. I could hear voices call out my name but I took no notice.
Cemeteries aren’t that bright or lively because sorrow is the main emotion that’s triggered from being there. It’s the resting place of people you love or care about. No one could be perfectly happy and face the grave of a loved one. I wasn’t ready to do so, and that’s why I left.
I walked slowly down the sidewalk, thoughts flying through my head and leaving me feeling a little dizzy and mind shaken that I had to stop and recall where exactly I was headed. When I remembered once more, I continued down the small neighborhood, crossing the street, and then being met by the familiar sights of the greenery of the park.
Making my way through, I headed towards the lake situated in the center and sat down on the bench. The sun kissed the ripples on the surface of the water made by the tossing of the rocks as children played, laughter escaping their lips. Their laughter had soul and meaning which felt like an insult towards how I felt. A single tear made its way down my cheek as the smiles and happy chatter of people around me hit me with an impact that left me feeling upset and infuriated.
After all that had happened…this is what it had come to. The sun’s still up, hearts still content around me and life’s continuing. But I feel left behind; sitting here with you in another world and I on this one. You couldn’t be gone…you’d promised that you would stay with me for as long as we both shall live. You always kept your word. So why didn’t you keep the most important one?
It's an intense ride through a turbulent time in a teenager’s life. I have yet to read a YA book written by an adult that can capture it as well. If you’re an adult, she takes you back and reminds you of how that all felt when you were Lillian’s age. And if you’re in high school, you’ll be able to relate to Lillian and her friends without a problem.
Beatrice Manuel's debut novel, A Midnight Reverie, is a well-written and entertaining piece of art. Written at 13 years old, Beatrice impeccably portrays the emotions and thoughts of Lillian Jones, the story's adolescent protagonist. We experience Lillian's joys and struggles which both contribute to her growth throughout the story. The reader's experience is a rollercoaster of emotions, but it's worth it!
The author has brilliantly portrayed emotions and thoughts of almost all the characters, and the character of Lillian Jones, the protagonist has been explored and presented delightfully.
An enjoyable love story for young adults written at age fourteen which is a huge accomplishment in itself. The protagonist Lillian is easy to like and relate to and has been portrayed well throughout the story. The novel is well written in first person and so emotions were conveyed well, with the novel tackling situations that many will be able to relate to. I would be interesting in reading more of Beatrice's work as she develops as an author.
Aspiring author with a concoction of exciting novels, poetic prose and literary musings in the brew.
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