An historical novel from New York Times bestselling author Kathryn Lynn Davis:
One woman’s journey of discovery…through all the mysteries of the human heart.
As a child, Saylah held the magic and wisdom of her Salish Indian people. But when tragedy ravages the Salish, she must leave them for the world of the Ivys – an English/Scottish family whose traditions are as strange to her as her spirit world is to them. The Ivys have come to fertile British Columbia in search of paradise, but the secrets and mysteries surrounding them are overwhelming – until Saylah comes to help them understand the darkness holding them back.
Frustrated Julian Ivy, in whom sophistication and fury entwine, is drawn to Saylah’s healing strength and disquieting beauty. Through sorrow and elation, the two discover the fullness of love…but no one can resolve for her the contradictions of her birthright. Following the songs of her heritage, she will finally make the most wrenching choice of all…
Vancouver Island, British Columbia, 1876
She whom the People called Tanu, in awe and gratitude, and not a little fear, lay awake, dreaming. Dreaming she rose and followed her secret path through the woods into the clearing and saw Colchoté waiting near the red-gray embers of his father’s fire. She did not know if he had stood all night as he did now, staring toward the tangled woods. She knew only that the sight of his face, so dearly familiar, sent a sharp pain through her chest. He stood alone with the light of dawn like a gauze cape about his shoulders.
At last Tanu stood face-to-face with the brother of her childhood. For a moment, her breath refused to come.
Colchoté did not speak. He stared into her eyes, and his heart stopped its thunderous beat. He had known he wanted her, but not how much. The glimpse of her soul through her compelling green eyes told him that – and more.
‘My Brother,’ Tanu said gently in a voice as strong as the stone of the Island hillsides, ‘do not ask of me that which I cannot give. I would not wish to hurt you, ever.’
For an instant, he could not respond. Then, with a great effort of will, he nodded stiffly. Somehow he had known this would be her answer to a question he could never ask. His face, which had always been so open, was now sharp and angular, his round eyes narrowed, unreadable.
Tanu ached at the pain that tightened his mouth into a rigid smile. She must leave him alone with his sorrow. For a man such things were secret, hidden, a matter of deep pride. She ached to comfort him, but turned reluctantly away. She had not known it would hurt so much to see his false smile, the rigid posture of his body, the blank expression that saved his dignity.
She had not known it would hurt so much to leave him in silence, without a single gentle word.
Her name hung, whispered on the morning air. She turned, saw Colchoté raise his hand. Just once, he motioned toward him. Eyes black as caverns carved from tortured stone, he held up his hands, palms outward, in the sign of eternal friendship.
Tanu’s eyes burned, but she was not allowed the luxury of tears. She knew how much that gesture had cost him. She raised her own hands and pressed her palms to his.
He stiffened at the unexpected warmth. Without thought, he laced his fingers with hers.
Tanu was stunned by her reaction, the way her fingers twined naturally with his. Never had a man touched her like this, awakening her body to feelings so strange, so alluring that she could not pull away. Her power left her, and her wisdom and her spirits. She realized in that instant what it was to be a woman.
She had not known it at the ceremony after the first flow of her blood, when they had called her woman. Nor had she guessed when Kitkuni spoke of her curiosity and the need for a man’s touch. She had not felt it, even as she wondered at Colchoté’s fervent, demanding gaze, even as Koleili told her of a happiness she could not understand.
With her palms against his, her fingers bound with his, a need long slumbering began to stir. No one had ever taught her this. They had talked of the spirits, of wisdom, of dreams and the knowledge of her ancestors. Not once had they spoken of the hunger of her body. Now she had to learn it for herself.
In that moment of illumination, she understood the pleasure she could know, a yearning for the touch of other hands upon her skin, the urgent desire in her blood. She knew all these things, and knew, as well, that she could never claim them. She discovered the stirring promise of her body and gave it up forever, all in an instant.
Colchoté savored one moment more of the exquisite pressure of her fingers twined with his, then let her go. ‘I release your hands and release my dreams, for the two are one,’ he said.
Dazed and grieving and cold beyond words at the loss of his warmth, Tanu tried to speak, but he had already turned away. He would never know how much he had given, how much he had taken away. These things she would keep locked inside her. Like the secret of her power, she would never speak the words aloud or let them glimmer in her eyes. So many things were hidden in the safe places inside her, but none as poignant or as painful as this.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Davis is a New York Times, Doubleday Book Club, Washington Post & #1 Amazon best-selling novelist. She is a multiple award-winner, including the Indy’s RONE. About her novel Too Deep for Tears (#5 on the NY Times): “A debut so stunning it will remind you of The Far Pavilions and The Thornbirds.” —The Chicago Tribune
Her first published novel received nationwide attention when it was banned in Medora, ND, the town where it is set. She started out in traditional publishing, where her first eight novels were published, including her best-seller Sing to Me of Dreams (1990/2016). But she became frustrated and stopped writing until she discovered Indy publishing in 2013. Now, 27 years in the making, she has finally published the long awaited sequel to Sing to Me of Dreams–WEAVE FOR ME A DREAM. It feels to her like a miracle. “Davis has done for the Salish of British Columbia what Tony Hillerman did for the Navajo…Sing to Me of Dreams will establish her once and for all as a major novelist.” —San Bernardino Sun. She has now published nine novels, two novellas and one short story.