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The First Principles of Dreaming

by: Beth Goobie

Seek, and you shall find

It’s 1977, and Mary-Eve Hamilton is plodding through her final year at Eleusis High School. Mary-Eve's mother, famed prophetess at the Waiting for the Rapture End Times Tabernacle, regularly has visions, foams at the mouth, and falls down rigid. Her father, a popular deacon, hides his abuse behind a Sunday morning facade.

Mary-Eve herself appears to be a dutiful teenager, her entire life regulated by the prescriptive rules of their church. Inside, she’s biding her time and waiting for emancipation from her family's strictures and secrets. That day comes when Mary-Eve befriends Dee Eccles, an eighteen-year-old pagan goddess from the other side of everything.

Dee instantly re-christens Mary-Eve with the name Jezebel, Jez for short, and begins her initiation into the women’s mysteries of makeup, skin-tight jeans, and otherworldly glory. But Jez quickly learns that Dee has her own secrets, and that demons are not confined to the Waiting for the Rapture End Times Tabernacle. 

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Listen to a radio interview with Beth Goobie about The First Principles of Dreaming on Saskatoon's CFCR 90.5FM:


Long-listed / Honourable Mention: 2015 Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic

"An unsettling and unnerving erotic exploration of a young woman’s psyche, Beth Goobie’s mix of sexuality, morality, and religious fundamentalism is a coming-of-age tale unlike any other." - Sunburst Award Honourable Mention


"This deeply engrossing and powerful novel by Goobie draws readers in and squeezes tight. ... The use of metaphoric and poetic prose is beautiful, despite the ugly things revealed. While some readers may view the occult elements as eccentric, they have a specific purpose within the story, and the commonplace way in which they are presented allows the reader to acclimatize quickly. Mythology lovers will see parallels to the Persephone myth." 
Publisher's Weekly

"Beth Goobie blends generous servings of sex, religion, the supernatural – even horror – into a deliciously creepy coming-of-age tale unlike any other you’re likely to have read. The award-winning author of numerous young adult novels, Goobie knows the mind of teenagers – especially teenaged girls – like few others, and puts that knowledge to terrific use in this most adult of stories which ultimately transforms itself into a beautiful tale of healing and redemption."
- Dave Margoshes, author of Wiseman’s Wager and A Book of Great Worth

"Beth Goobie has written novels for teens before and now turns her hand to a coming-of-age novel which exposes the complexity of a young woman’s shifting identity.... The style is intense and highly emotive."
- Buried in Print

" uncanny and surreal read: Goobie adeptly taps into the novelty and intensity of being a teenager where things are sensed and felt, rather than known." - The Coastal Spectator

"Beth Goobie’s The First Principles of Dreaming is a beautifully written magic-realist treatise on the power of pain and loss." - Paper Droids

"Goobie is a talented prose stylist with an admirable mix of Old Testament and new world references and rhythms." - Saskatoon Star-Phoenix


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