Launching Tuesday: The Hour of Daydreams

We’re so excited about the March 14 launch of Renee Macalino Rutledge’s debut novel, The Hour of Daydreams, a reimagining of a Filipino folktale about a winged star maiden.

Buy local–please–and you’ll support an independent press, a debut author, and a business in your community. Bookstores that have it on the shelves now–or will soon–include Powell’s, Books Inc., Book Passage, A Great Good Place for Books, Changing Hands, Diesel, Elliott Bay, Green Apple, Left Bank, Politics & Prose, Skylight, Astoria Books, Atomic Books, Stowe Books, Readers Books, Bookshop West, Small World Books, Curious Iguana, Old Firehouse Books, Common Good, Alexander Book Company, Annie Bloom’s, Broadway Books, Third Place, Village Books, Doylestown, Eagle Harbor, Gallery Bookshop, Ivy Bookshop, Horizon, and Sketch Books in the Philippines. Many stores have ordered copies beyond the ones listed here; some order direct from wholesalers, so Forest Ave doesn’t have access to the data. So call your local store or stop by and if it’s not yet on the shelf, you can get it swiftly ordered for you.

The Hour of Daydreams took Renee seven years to write, and we signed her in 2015, kicking off a two-year publication process that has been an absolute joy. That’s nine years of investment in this beautiful debut novel, now on sale for $15.95.

Renee will be at Books Inc. Alameda at 7 p.m. on launch day, for those of you who live in the Bay Area and want to join us! Here’s a great newspaper article, with more event details, from the East Bay Times.

We’re still working on finalizing her summer road trip tour on the East Coast, but the next two events include Powell’s Hawthorne on April 3 and a May 17 appearance at the AAUW-Alameda chapter.

Renee is a member of the ’17 Scribes, an international debut author collective, and the group interviewed her here.

The Hour of Daydreams has earned praise from many incredible authors. To whet your appetite, here are some endorsements:

“With its enticing undertow of secrets and magic, The Hour of Daydreams will seduce readers with its reverence for mystery, its gentle humor, and its deep empathy for its characters’ longings and losses. Sometimes it takes a village to tell a story as extraordinary as this—and Renee Macalino Rutledge has managed to do just that.”

—Cristina García, author of Dreaming in Cuban


The Hour of Daydreams is a gorgeous read that should be relished as one would a piece of dark chocolate cake. Rich with tantalizing characters and delicious prose, this is a novel that readers, both young and old alike, won’t be able to help but savor.”

Leslye Walton, award-winning novelist and author of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender


The Hour of Daydreams isn’t just a wonderful book—it’s a lyrical and poetic journey, one that’s simultaneously magical, surprising, and mesmerizing. It’s a love story, fable, fairy tale, and contemporary novel woven together with seamless thread, reminiscent of Isabel Allende. A brilliant start to a beautiful literary career.”

—Erin Entrada Kelly, author of The Land of Forgotten Girls


“Lyrical and compelling. You won’t forget the characters and myths Renee Macalino Rutledge brings to life in her stunning debut.”

—Vanessa Hua, author of Deceit and Other Possibilities and San Francisco Chroniclecolumnist


“Macalino Rutledge’s debut novel is a tale of dreams and secrets and what is hidden inside a marriage, and what cannot be denied. The writing is vivid and evocative, the world richly textured and alive. Here the duende speaks!”

—Micheline Aharonian Marcom, author of Three Apples Fell From Heaven


“Renee Macalino Rutledge’s The Hour of Daydreams is a stirring and haunting exploration of marriage, culture, and gender roles. You will find yourself cheering for Tala and Manolo as they stumble through fears and desires, and you will celebrate the choral narration with its multiple perspectives on love and community. This debut novel is a delicate weaving of mythology and everyday lives and it is a necessary addition to the literature of the Filipina diaspora.”

—Daisy Hernández, author of A Cup of Water Under My Bed: A Memoir


“A beautiful book that collapses the boundaries between reality and fairy tale, The Hour of Daydreams is both gritty and poetic. The atmosphere is fresh and vivid, like a broad green leaf shimmering with raindrops.”

—Elena Mauli Shapiro, author of 13, Rue Thérèse and In the Red


“Reading The Hour of Daydreams is like waltzing with words as Renee weaves folktale with the sweet and deceptive love story of Manolo and Tala. Be prepared for the moments the story shifts to folktale. The brief detours will quickly bring you back to Manolo and Tala, so enjoy the language, savor the images, and tuck them in your pocket. They are clues to secrets that will be revealed. As a reader, I am enchanted by Tala, just as the characters in the book are. As an English teacher, I am enchanted by Renee’s brilliant and lyrical writing.”

—Karen Sargent, author of Waiting for Butterflies


“Renee Rutledge’s beautifully crafted novel examines marriage, family, and identity. Inspired by a Filipino folktale, Rutledge deftly knits fable and contemporary story to explore the power of secrets in everyday lives. This lyrical, stirring first novel invites the reader to linger and dream.”

—Kate Brandes, author of The Promise of Pierson Orchard


“It may be difficult for some cultures today to reconcile the tales and superstitions of earlier generations with modern society, yet we lose something when we forget about the past. In The Hour of Daydreams . . . fables may help us understand and embrace certain truths about our background, family, and community, and come to terms with who we really are and what we value. Ultimately, this is a story about human connection, ambition, and dreams. It reminded me of an old saying: If you love someone, set them free. I enjoyed reading this story as I would read a poem, open to the possibilities.”

—Sandi Ward, author of The Astonishing Thing


“Confident and imaginative storytelling . . . Renee Macalino Rutledge tells the story of Tala and Manolo—their unusual meeting, love affair, and the complexity of their marriage—all in prose that is lyrical and mesmerizing. Multiple perspectives weave together and explore the secrets that lurk between lovers, friends, and family members. The Hour of Daydreams has stuck with me since I finished reading it. I’m still absorbing it and thinking about it, which is always a good sign that a story has dug its way into my bloodstream.”

—Elise Hooper, author of The Other Alcott


“An honest love story is of two minds—it reveals and confounds, it wounds and redeems. The Hour of Daydreams is nothing short of an honest love story, and Renee Macalino Rutledge is a singular talent.”

—Jamie Yourdon, author of Froelich’s Ladder


“From the very first line of the book, you know you’re in for something different…Lovely and utterly unique, this is definitely worth a read.”
—Kathleen Barber, author of Are You Sleeping


“The prose is lyrical and descriptive, perfect for the curiously unfolding story.”
—Oakland Magazine

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  1. This is a beautiful tale, deftly told, with a poet’s eye for language.

    If you’re following the link to the article in the East Bay Times you can use the search window at the EBJ website to find the article.

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