Dreaming of the Nile is a novel about a woman’s spiritual quest to find meaning in her life. Leila Martin, a thirtysomething journalist living in Los Angeles, is suffering from a chronic case of fatigue and depression. Having exhausted medical possibilities, she embarks on a spiritual search in an attempt to cure her malaise. After attending a powerful sweat lodge she has a dream about a woman in Ancient Egypt called Hathor. Over the next few months, Leila learns about the life of women in Ancient Egypt and how spiritual beliefs were woven into the fabric of everyday life, and gradually this strengthens her. But all is not rosy, and difficulties in Hathor’s world have a powerful effect on Leila’s life as she observes from another time and place. Leila’s concerns for Hathor deepen her need to understand what is going on, and she is drawn into a romantic entanglement that may or may not turn out to be good for her.
Author’s Note: I wrote Dreaming of the Nile in the mid 1990’s, following a series of dreams that had begun in 1989 as I was recovering from an illness contracted in Nepal. I was focused on writing non-fiction and had a non-fiction agent and publishers, and I let the book languish in a drawer for fifteen years until my connection to it mysteriously woke up, and I realized I should publish it. There are still too few books that map the inner journey of transformation and how it connects to spiritual experience. There is also precious little out there on the relationship between physical energy and spiritual life.
In publishing the novel now, I faced the usual temptation to mess with one’s older work from the vantage point of what one knows now. But I resisted this and barely revised it. I value the work as it emerged at that time, and the integrity of who I was when I was writing it.
“In Dreaming of the Nile, Lara Owen writes with a clear spiritual and sensual knowledge of the souls of women. Nothing could be more feminine, sexier, nor immediately important.” Kit Birskovich, artist and musician.
“I quickly became drawn into the magical world of ancient Egypt and found myself being transported and uplifted in a very moving way. The author skilfully weaves together the lives of people who are living thousands of years apart but who can communicate in a believable way about the sacred feminine. There were inspirational and salutary messages for our time coming through and at first I felt this was a book written for women, but by the time I reached the end I was bursting to tell my male friends to read it as well. I highly recommend this delightful, lyrical and compelling book, which is deeply spiritual and yet disarmingly accessible. Everyone should read it!” Amazon review.
Interested in finding out more? Here’s a PDF of the first chapter Dreaming of the Nile Chapter One
Lara Owen writes and researches on menstruation, work, and feminism. Based in Melbourne, she teaches and consults internationally.