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Faced with your greatest choices, how do you know which one is right?

It is 1952 Britain. The war is over, but not the personal battles for beautiful Lily Whitely; brilliant Phila Claiborne; blueblood Hugh Claiborne; brave Ollie Ogilvie; and beguiling Dan McCauley.

But they have an enemy more insidious than they could ever have imagined, one bent on destroying their dreams – and their souls.

They find themselves tangled in a web of personal crises and deception, in London and Oxford, where they encounter angels, dark whispers, and choices that will change their lives forever.

Infused with the influences (and appearances) of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, Nan Rinella has crafted a powerful tale about the decisions we make (and where those decisions take us) that will delight readers far beyond their expectations.

Dreams in the Distance book cover

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Nan Rinella

A Hobbit in Narnia

If you’re a J. R. R. Tolkien & C. S. Lewis fan, you get the gist.
Once upon a time (2004), this petite down-to-earth journalist ventured into “The Fantastic Worlds of C. S. Lewis & J. R. R. Tolkien” (a C.S. Lewis Foundation, CSLF, event)— my own personal Narnia (a world inhabited with academic scholars—elves, so to speak). I went forth in fear and trembling after reading the academic tomes of some of the speakers. Once there, I found a home-away-from-home. In 2009 the CSLF president invited me to direct its Texas retreats.


Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

Winston Churchill

Who let me brother in me brain?

Dreams in the Distance

It will take more than affronts from a little person with a big opinion of herself to influence those with whom I choose to consort.

Dreams in the Distance

You ask, what is our aim? . . . It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

First Speech as Prime Minister to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, May 1940, Winston Churchill

When people tire of the forty-eight-minute television novel, they will yearn for a substantial book within whose covers they can live imaginatively for weeks. The eighteenth-century, discursive-type novel will enjoy a vigorous rebirth, because readers demand it.

The World Is My Home, James A. Michener

“Guid gear comes in sma’ bulk.” Ay, Nana, good things do come in small packages. She’s a bonny lass.

Dreams in the Distance

“So, should I desire tae court ye, milady, I would hae to ride up to your castle on me white stallion an’ fight another knight frae ye?” “Indeed, Sir Knight.” O. C. hooted. “Weel, milady, I fear I left me stallion an’ armor back in me castle.” He said it so matter-of-factly, she almost believed he meant it.

Dreams in the Distance

  Phila hated the way the war lingered on the edge of all of life’s pieces.

Dreams in the Distance

Make your choice, adventurous Stranger, Strike the bell and bide the danger, Or wonder, till it drives you mad, What would have followed if you had?

The Magician's Nephew, C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

History often resembles myth, because they are both ultimately of the same stuff.

On Fairy-stories, J. R. R. Tolkien

Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.

Laughter and Humility, G. K. Chesterton

To construct plausible and moving ‘other worlds’you must draw on the only real ‘other world’ we know, that of the Spirit.

Of Other Worlds, C. S. Lewis

“To be exact, Eve wanted to be equal to God. We only want to be equal with men.” She gazed at him, challenging.

Dreams in the Distance

“They do prepare tea properly at the embassy, but outside they just throw a bag in a cup and pour on hot, but not necessarily boiling water.” “Roughing it are you, son, in the colonies?” “Tough duty, sir.”

Dreams in the Distance

Oh, precious little Kit and her book about the wardrobe. If only I could enter a magic place where the last few months hadn’t happened and be happy again. But make-believe doesn’t happen, there are no magic wardrobes, and one can’t undo the past.

Dreams in the Distance

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The Choice and

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The Making of The Choice

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C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien

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