Ulysses Dream

A timeless romance

Christian - Historical Fiction
208 Pages
Reviewed on 09/16/2016
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Dr. Tim White is the lead pastor at Washington Cathedral in Redmond Washington where he and his wife Jackie have served for the last 33 years. Tim is also the author of the biography "To Dreamers Long Forgotten" and the text book "Astonishingly Joyful Amazingly Simple" which is an is analysis of Institutional Entropy. He is an adjunct professor for Northwest University and a visiting professor at other seminaries. Jackie and Tim have three grown children and four grandchildren. Tim received his BA in research psychology from Eastern Washington University his M.Div from George Fox University in Portland and his Doctor of Ministry from Fuller theological Seminary in Pasadena California and an honorary doctorate from St. Thomas Christian University in Jacksonville Florida.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jane Finch for Readers' Favorite

Ulysses Dream by Tim White tells the story of a young man who, by reason of circumstances, is sent to fight in the Vietnam War. The story follows his early life, his meeting with the one who would be the love of his life, his struggles, and then continues as he fights the Viet Cong and the atrocities he is forced to commit and to witness. Often listed as Missing in Action or left for dead, Ulysses overcomes harrowing events to remain faithful to his one true love. Defying the odds, Ulysses struggles with the concept of good and evil as he battles to save the innocent.

This amazing epic story is incredibly moving in its detail as it follows one young man as he determinedly pursues his destiny. The author, Tim White, writes with such emotion that I found myself thinking about this book long after it was finished. This is a book not just about one man, but about the inhumanity of war, the greed and evil of the world, and ultimately one man’s determination to change the view of the world regarding war. The injustice, the abominations, and the sheer cruelty are sure to make every reader strive for peace in this world. Also woven into the story is the love of a pair destined to be together, of family bonds, of the importance of heritage, and how faith can overcome the most challenging events. Told in the form of recollections by one of the protagonists works really well and adds credence to this haunting tale.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Life is a story and it’s through the telling of a life’s story that future generations learn, not only about their past, but how they can make the future, both their own and of those around them, better. In a sacred circle amongst a group of eager young aboriginals, Penelope is encouraged to share her story in the age-old art of storytelling. It is not just her story, but the story of many other abused and victimized young women, most of whom can only hope for a miracle of escape. For Penelope, her hope became a reality, but not without some hazards and setbacks along the way. Penelope’s story begins as a child in Honduras. At the age of six, she was kidnapped and sold into the sex slave industry. It is a life that haunted her many years later, until, as an adult, encouraged by her Pez Nez husband and her half-Pez Nez son, she can feel brave and proud and stand up for what she believes is right, even against all odds.

Tim White’s novel, Ulysses Dream: A Timeless Romance, is more than just a story about dreadful human brutality. It is more than just a story about victims. It is a story that rises above the obstacles laid out before one. No matter how hideous the obstacles, there is always hope through faith and belief in a better world. Penelope and her husband, Ulysses Looking Glass Sundown, are both victims, but they are also survivors and they use their faith and their survival skills to help each other and to help other victims. This is a troubling but also compassionate story, one that strives to lay out a possible framework for a better world. And, through the age-old art of storytelling, perhaps there is hope yet for humanity.

Lisa McCombs

In Ulysses Dream by Tim White, Dr. Penelope Morales Santos Sundown, surrounded by the children of her people, narrates this courageous tale of her one true love. When she meets Ulysses Looking Glass Sundown as a young child, never did she dream that he would become her personal hero, the champion of her people, and her one true love. Ulysses literally battles his way from being a trouble making youngster to a Marine hero, from a professional athlete to a zealous champion of Christianity. No matter the obstacles, both Penelope and Ulysses return to the essence of these words: “Our family prays that heroes will emerge to bring an end to human trafficking, to foster treating indigenous people with respect, and most of all to embrace the freedom that comes with the idea of the United States of America. May future generations look around at the mountains and the people and believe in what might be for our world.” As Ulysses fights his own physical and emotional battles in Viet Nam, Penelope is left state side paying homage to her own demons.

Ulysses Dream by Tim White is a hauntingly believable tale of bravery and the highest of human moral fiber. White’s detailed descriptions of Penelope’s young life in Honduras will hook the reader from page one. The theme of human trafficking is consistent throughout this novel, making White’s piece an amazing mixture of realistic political fiction and mesmerizing romance. This is the type of story that belongs on the big screen. Such a touching book! As a fellow author of Christian fiction, I appreciated that Tim White does not preach to readers, yet his conviction stands strong.

Patricia Day

Ulysses Dream, A Timeless Romance by Tim White is a deeply moving account of human tragedy. He eloquently profiles the trauma caused by human trafficking and being pushed into prostitution, of having no legal status, and being considered worthless. Penelope grows up in Honduras, poor and needy. Her life is shattered when she is trafficked by the notorious MS-13 gang. Her story is one of immense courage when she manages to get to the United States, where she achieves success beyond her imagining. Then Ulysses enters her life. Young and brave, he goes on to prove his worth as a great Nez Perce warrior. Ulysses attains many honors and medals from his valiant service in the Vietnam and Israeli wars. His immeasurable strength and determination carry him through horrific events too. His faith and conviction to do what is honorable in all things cause him mental anguish. Killing is against his beliefs, but he is so good at what he does that his skills are in demand.

The story is told as a camp fire tale, with everyone seated around the fire, eager to hear the elder’s tales of native heroism. The ensuing chapters give detailed reports of the ugliness of war and trafficking, with the saving grace of hope, endurance, and the courage to overcome. I found the story jumped back and forth a lot, which caused a bit of frustration. However, the beautifully portrayed characters of Penelope and Ulysses captured my heart and I wanted to pursue every moment of their involvement with each other; within the book and in the new paths that their lives took. Based on a true story, this is an encouraging, brutally revealing account that more than once made me very thankful for my freedom, safety, and country.

Marta Tandori

Ulysses Dream: A Timeless Romance by author Tim White is a touching, heartfelt tribute to an unusual love story that spans the ages, somewhat reminiscent of Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook. However, in this book, the story is recounted by Dr. Penelope Morales Santos Sundown, an elder and beloved storyteller, to the various generations of her extended family while they are gathered at their ancestral lodge in Lake Wallowa in eastern Oregon. What makes this story so unique is the fact that the two protagonists come from such different walks of life and it hardly seems likely that their paths will cross at all – and yet they do.

Penelope Morales is born in a small impoverished village in the cloud rainforest of Honduras. Not born in a hospital, she has no papers and Penelope and her family, like the others in her village, are considered to be non-persons in the eyes of the law. When she is six, her village is raided and, after watching her mother be abused and brutally murdered before her eyes, she and her brother, Homer, along with other children of the village, are taken by the MS-13, a violent Salvadorean gang known for drug trafficking, human trafficking, kidnapping and prostitution, among others. Just when all seems to be lost, Penelope is rescued by the Santos family. The talent of the Santos’ other daughter, Maria Jose, saves them all when a pastor arranges to send the family to the U.S. on a temporary visa so that Maria Jose, a child prodigy, can play violin with the San Francisco Youth Symphony. It is in the U.S. that young Penelope meets Ulee Sundown for the first time.

Ulysses (Ulee) Looking Glass Sundown is the second eldest brother in the Sundown family which consists of various brothers; Joey (now deceased), Patty, Jacky, Stick, Whitey and Heath. The Sundown family comes from a long line of Nez Perce warriors with Ulee being born in the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon. Ulee’s parents had moved to the Finley, Washington area to take on a small church after Ulee’s father had graduated from college and the seminary, but it isn’t until Ulee and Penelope’s paths cross again at a track meet a short time later that the two become devoted to one another. Ulee is a star athlete and excels at all he does, but he is a hothead with a temper, quick with his fists and will never back down from any fight – usually with his brothers bringing up the rear.

In order to avoid a murder charge after a fight, fifteen-year-old Ulee is enlisted in the Marines after his age is altered and is soon deployed to Vietnam while a heartbroken Penelope throws herself into her studies, intent on becoming a doctor. Ulee, in typical Ulee fashion, becomes very good at killing the enemy and soon believes his soul is beyond redemption but manages to find some solace in a Buddhist monastery and orphanage run by a Buddhist monk and a young Vietnamese woman called Ahn. He spends much time there, but when Ulee finally meets up with Penelope and his family in Hawaii, his family suggests to Penelope that she propose to their son and she does so.

There are two integral elements to this love story; the first is the devotion that Ulee and Penelope have to each other. The second is their need to excel and to give back. Both characters are upstanding and very accomplished in their respective fields. Ulee returns to the U.S. after the war and becomes a star quarterback for a professional football team while Penelope becomes a pediatric neurological surgeon. White’s treatment of Ulee Sundown has almost a Forrest Gump-like sense of accomplishment which reaches near stratospheric heights, although Ulee himself never loses his sense of integrity. All of this gives Ulysses Dream texture and colour, like a beautifully-woven tapestry. The author takes his time to weave his tale, giving his readers the opportunity to fully appreciate the horrific circumstances from which Penelope comes – but without resorting to graphic prose to underscore its very inhumanity.

Ulysses Dream will leave readers with the positive message that all adversity can be overcome, as well as feeling replete and satisfied – very much the emotions felt after a particularly wonderful journey has been undertaken. Penelope and Ulee’s story is just such a journey.