Recently I read the book ‘Ayala’s Angel’ by Anthony Trollope. Actually, I listened to the audio version of the book while working on another painting (Finished).
Note: if you have not read this book and wish to, I suggest that you stop here and come back after you’ve read it. I would hate to spoil the ending for you.
I won’t turn this into a book review, but to give some background: The heroine of the book, Ayala, is admired and pursued by three different suitors. None of these men live up to her ideal man who she refers to as the “Angel of Light.” She refuses all of her suitors in turn, and as it turns out, multiple times throughout the book. One of these suitors, Jonathan, she learns to love even from the beginning of their friendship. Not only does she not realize this, but she continues to refuse him even while loving him because he does not possess every one of the qualities she imagines for her “Angel of Light”. Eventually Ayala acknowledges her mistake and chooses to marry the man she loves in spite of his imperfections.
“Her dreams had been a barrier against love rather than an encouragement.”
I don’t know what Trollope’s intentions were in writing this novel, but I read in it a challenge to the modern ideal of “prince charming,” “knight in shining armor,” and “happily ever after.”
So with that introduction, this is “The Dreamer.” A reminder to myself and (hopefully) to others that life is not a fairy tale, it isn’t a Disney movie, and it most definitely is not a romance novel. But there is real love, and the difference is that it is real.