While this book starts off describing the life of an ordinary woman, it definitely does not continue that way. Just keep that in mind as you measure your expectations…
Olivia is not a normal person. She has managed to navigate life successfully despite her mild autism, finding a passion and a job that pays well, a husband who understands her, and friends who appreciate her most of the time. She enjoys her life, but that’s not the point of this story. This story is not about giving her true purpose and fulfillment or helping her to navigate some emotional baggage or a clandestine love life. This story is about her taking her surroundings and creating a world bigger than most people around her could ever imagine.
Olivia has wild dreams, about fantastical powers and animals and worlds that exist with very little relevancy to the current one she lives in. What if she could make that reality? There must be a way to realize these dreams, then she gets an idea. The world she wants cannot be found among her existing life. Looking out her window, she gets an idea and walks to the basement.
Entering the basement, she is immediately reminded of her fears. Growing up, she would visit her grandmother in a house that was as old as Moses, with a basement that beckoned menacingly. Walking down the hall to the bathroom, you could sense it on your left and ran as fast as possible, but the sense was still there and you shivered anyway. Having to sleep in the basement, despite being in a closed bedroom, was like a prison sentence. The bed was uncomfortable, sheets were stiff, and God forbid you had to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.
This basement was different. It was new, which was a major plus. There was lower likelihood of spiders here, but it was cold and there was the sump that was part of building code. Why did there have to be a hole, albeit covered, in the basement floor? It was creepy. Olivia walked down the stairs and turned left into the main area. Walking forward, she went to the window closest, opened it and started clearing away the rocks that covered the door. After climbing down the metal ladder, no one would see her and no one would know she just entered an unknown world.