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Dispatches from Terabithia

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Memory and Dream

Memory and Dream  - Charles de Lint As the young student of the brilliant Vincent Rushkin, Isabelle Copley discovered she could paint images so real they brought her dreams to life. But when the forces she unleashed brought tragedy to those she loved, she turned her back on her talent - and on those dreams. Now, twenty years later, Isabelle must come to terms with the memories she has long denied, and unlock the power of her brush. And, in a dark reckoning with her old master, she must find the courage to live out her dreams, and bring the magic back to life.

I think I spent just about this entire book wondering exactly how unreliable our unreliable narrator is...and I think that’s fascinating. How much of this can be chalked up to influence, or to mental illness, or simply her humanity? Because Isabelle truly is very flawed -- she’s a pushover, she’s the archetypical abuse survivor before realizing she’s being abused, she makes excuses and finds ways to make things her fault. She chews on things in her anxiety until they lose all meaning. We have no idea how much to trust her, because her own friends wonder at her motives and actions and if she truly did things she claims she didn’t.

A story that brings the concept of 'creating our own reality' to life -- and that truth is only the story we tell ourselves.