Author David Litwack is touring in support of his speculative fiction novel, Daughter of the Sea and the Sky, published May, 2014.
After centuries of religiously motivated war, the world has been split in two. Now the Blessed Lands are ruled by pure faith, while in the Republic, reason is the guiding light-two different realms, kept apart and at peace by a treaty and an ocean. Children of the Republic, Helena and Jason were inseparable in their youth, until fate sent them down different paths. Grief and duty sidetracked Helena’s plans, and Jason came to detest the hollowness of his ambitions.
These two damaged souls are reunited when a tiny boat from the Blessed Lands crashes onto the rocks near Helena’s home after an impossible journey across the forbidden ocean. On board is a single passenger, a nine-year-old girl named Kailani, who calls herself The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky. A new and perilous purpose binds Jason and Helena together again, as they vow to protect the lost innocent from the wrath of the authorities, no matter the risk to their future and freedom.
But is the mysterious child simply a troubled little girl longing to return home? Or is she a powerful prophet sent to unravel the fabric of a godless Republic, as the outlaw leader of an illegal religious sect would have them believe? Whatever the answer, it will change them all forever… and perhaps their world as well.
I read it and found it to be, in a word, sweet. David Litwack paints a picture of two civilizations guided by polar opposite philosophies living side-by-side in a tenuous negotiated peace after years of war. That peace is threatened when a young girl from the land of spirit appears unexpectedly in the land of reason. Her motives for leaving her homeland are a mystery until the very end.
Kailani doesn’t ask for asylum but she also won’t explain why she ran away from home, crossing an ocean alone in a tiny boat to do so. Meanwhile her disappearance from the Blessed Land presents a dilemma for its officials and her mere presence unnerves her hosts in the land of the Soulless. While little Kailani pursues her own agenda she becomes a cause celebre for both sides as they each need to arrive at an outcome that will support their position.
It’s an international incident but it’s depicted through the changes in the lives of those close to Kailani: the couple who rescued her, the people who become her advocates, the government officials of both lands who have a personal stake in the resolution. It’s a macro crisis couched in micro experiences. Despite all the upheaval, the tale is gently told, with little violence or bloodshed.
Neither literature nor life need major conflict to be interesting, but it helps, especially in fiction. I was surprised to discover that I would have liked a little more drama, especially since I so enjoyed David Litwack’s Along the Watchtower which I found to be more gripping and intense. This was a much cozier story.
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The urge to write first struck when working on a newsletter at a youth encampment in the woods of northern Maine. It may have been the night when lightning flashed at sunset followed by northern lights rippling after dark. Or maybe it was the newsletter’s editor, a girl with eyes the color of the ocean. But he was inspired to write about the blurry line between reality and the fantastic.
Using two fingers and lots of white-out, he religiously typed five pages a day throughout college and well into his twenties. Then life intervened. He paused to raise two sons and pursue a career, in the process becoming a well-known entrepreneur in the software industry, founding several successful companies. When he found time again to daydream, the urge to write returned. His novels include: There Comes a Prophet, Along the Watchtower, and the newly released The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky.
David and his wife split their time between Cape Cod, Florida and anywhere else that catches their fancy. He no longer limits himself to five pages a day and is thankful every keystroke for the invention of the word processor.
Find David online at: