Claire Bead is a twenty-three-year-old Canadian woman with dreams of becoming a successful author, at the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century. When she cuts work one day in a fit of desperation, Claire suddenly finds herself thrust into a dangerous bind, one from which she expects no escape. Just as suddenly, however, she feels her body disappear into thin air.
What follows is an epic mystery unlike any other, as Claire wakes up to discover herself in a whole other world: the picturesque, whimsical, black-and-white town of Cloak Valley, Monochrome. Crippled by an imperfect memory and by the uncertainty of whether she is alive and dreaming--or dead and dreaming--Claire, with the help of others, tries to make sense of the muddled existence in which she finds herself; to make sense of recurring visions; and above all, to make sense of her own fractured identity and intangible history.
A sprawling tale of spiritual self-discovery, misadventure, terror, intrigue and romance, The Dash also provides its readers with an invaluable capacity for personal interactions, at the least expected moments. It is not only a story to be read, but a story to be experienced. Just as Claire must eventually find the answers to life’s most profound questions in an increasingly-formless world, so too can the reader be thrust directly into Claire’s viewpoint, and embark on an enchanting ride sure to both heighten the senses and nurture the heart.
Christopher Joseph “C.J.” Duarte (born October 24th, 1986 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) is a freelance novelist. Previously he had published the 2003 flash-fiction piece “This Time Around,” which was later anthologized that same year in the paperback A Harvest of Tales: Short Stories from Young Writers of Canada. He is currently at work on his next novel, among other projects.