"It’s like sitting under a tree listening to an elder spin a fable. The blend of magic and myth and gritty reality takes our collective breath away. It's the book we had to have." 

Forest Avenue Press


"With its enticing undertow of secrets and magic, The Hour of Daydreams will seduce readers with its reverence for mystery, its gentle humor, and its deep empathy for its characters’ longings and losses. Sometimes it takes a village to tell a story as extraordinary as this—and Renee Macalino Rutledge has managed to do just that."

Cristina García, author of Dreaming in Cuban and King of Cuba


"The Hour of Daydreams isn't just a wonderful book—it's a lyrical and poetic journey, one that's simultaneously magical, surprising, and mesmerizing. It's a love story, fable, fairy tale, and contemporary novel woven together with seamless thread, reminiscent of Isabel Allende. A brilliant start to a beautiful literary career."

Erin Entrada Kelly, author of Blackbird Fly and The Land of Forgotten Girls


"Lyrical and compelling. You won't forget the characters and myths Renee Macalino Rutledge brings to life in her stunning debut."

Vanessa Hua, author of Deceit and Other Possibilities

"An honest love story is of two mindsit reveals and confounds, it wounds and redeems. The Hour of Daydreams is nothing short of an honest love story, and Renee Macalino Rutledge is a singular talent."

Jamie Duclos-Yourdon, author of Froelich's Ladder

"Macalino Rutledge's debut novel is a tale of dreams and secrets and what is hidden inside a marriage, and what cannot be denied. The writing is vivid and evocative, the world richly textured and alive. Here the duende speaks!"

Micheline Aharonian Marcom, author of Three Apples Fell from Heaven and The Daydreaming Boy

"A stirring and haunting exploration of marriage, culture, and gender roles. You will find yourself cheering for Tala and Manolo as they stumble through fears and desires, and you will celebrate the choral narration with its multiple perspectives on love and community. This debut novel is a delicate weaving of mythology and every day lives and it is a necessary addition to the literature of the Filipina diaspora."

Daisy Hernández, author of A Cup of Water Under My Bed: A Memoir



"A beautiful book that collapses the boundaries between reality and fairy tale, The Hour of Daydreams is both gritty and poetic.  The atmosphere is fresh and vivid, like a broad green leaf shimmering with raindrops."

Elena Mauli Shapiro, author of In the Red and 13, Rue Thérèse



"The Hour of Daydreams soars beyond its magical premise into the wild and wide-eyed realm of a love story—one of the best and bravest I’ve ever read. How well do we know our spouses? What truths do we fabricate in order to handle everyday disappointments? Renee turns an intimate family tale into a sumptuous triumph." Publisher Laura Stanfill

"Confident and imaginative storytelling. Multiple perspectives weave together and explore the secrets that lurk between lovers, friends, and family members. The Hour of Daydreams has stuck with me since I finished reading it...always a good sign that a story has dug its way into my bloodstream."  

Elise Hooper, author of The Other Alcott

"Renee Rutledge’s beautifully crafted novel examines marriage, family, and identity. Inspired by a Filipino folktale, Rutledge deftly knits fable and contemporary story to explore the power of secrets in everyday lives. This lyrical, stirring first novel invites the reader to linger and dream."

Kate Brandes, author of The Promise of Pierson Orchard

"Ultimately, this is a story about human connection, ambition, and dreams. It reminded me of an old saying: If you love someone, set them free. I enjoyed reading this story as I would read a poem, open to the possibilities."
Sandi Ward, author of The Astonishing Thing

"Reading The Hour of Daydreams is like waltzing with words as Renee weaves folktale with the sweet and deceptive love story of Manolo and Tala. Be prepared for the moments the story shifts to folktale. The brief detours will quickly bring you back to Manolo and Tala, so enjoy the language, savor the images, and tuck them in your pocket. They are clues to secrets that will be revealed. As a reader, I am enchanted by Tala, just as the characters in the book are. As an English teacher, I am enchanted by Renee's brilliant and lyrical writing."

Karen Sargent, author of Waiting for Butterflies

"A tender retelling of a Filipino myth, shot through with hope and magic, grounded in truth and despair."

-Rene Denfeld, award-winning author of The Enchanted and The Child Finder

"You won't forget the characters and myths Renee Macalino Rutledge brings to life in her stunning debut."

-Vanessa Hua, author and colunnist for The San Francisco Chronicle