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The Hour of Daydreams

The Hour of Daydreams

by Renee Macalino Rutledge


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Manolo Lualhati, a respected doctor in the Philippine countryside, believes his wife hides a secret. Prior to their marriage, he spied her wearing wings and flying to the stars with her sisters each evening. As Tala tries to keep her dangerous past from her new husband, Manolo begins questioning the gaps in her stories—and his suspicions push him even further from the truth. The Hour of Daydreams, a contemporary reimagining of a Filipino folktale, weaves in the perspectives of Tala’s siblings, her new in-laws, and the all-seeing housekeeper while exploring trust, identity, and how myths can take root from the seeds of our most difficult truths.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781942436270
Publisher: Forest Avenue Press
Publication date: 03/14/2017
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Renee Macalino Rutledge was born in Manila, Philippines and raised in Alameda, California, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She received her bachelor of arts in English from UC Berkeley and master of fine arts in English and Creative Writing from Mills College. A long-time local journalist, her articles on arts and culture, parenting, and lifestyle have appeared in ColorLines, Filipinas Magazine, Oakland and Alameda Magazine, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, The East Bay Monthly, The Children's Advocate, Parents' Press, and others. Her reporting on minority issues facing Filipinos was nominated for a New American Media Award and New California Media Award by the editors of Filipinas Magazine. Her creative writing has been published in Red Earth Review, Mutha Magazine, and Ford City Anthology, and is forthcoming in the 2017 Women of Color Anthology.

Reading Group Guide

1. A Filipino folktale of seven star maidens inspired the writing of The Hour of Daydreams. What other myths do you come across in the story? How do they influence your reading?

2. What secrets do Tala and Manolo keep from one another? Why? How do these withholdings impact your impression of their love?

3. What does the box represent?

4. There are many variations of truth in this story. What do you feel is real versus imagined regarding:

Tala’s past

The seven sisters

Luchie’s vision in the marketplace

Manolo’s memories

Tala and Manolo’s meeting

Iolana’s memories

Other visions or plot points

5. How do you compare the grandparents’ love story with Tala and Manolo’s? What does the grandparents’ story reveal about marriage and myths?

6. In literature, a doppelganger is a mirror image of a character, who is not known to a character but can be perceived as that character’s shadow or evil counterpart. Did you sense a doppelganger in this story?

7. How does Baitan influence the decisions Tala makes? How do you think the story would change without him?

8. Malaya begins and ends the story in her own voice. Why do you think the author chose this framework? How does Malaya’s perspective influence your interpretation of her parents’ lives?

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