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The Awakening

The Awakening

(2003)
A novel by

 
Publisher's Weekly
Turning out novels on a near annual basis, this rising star of fantasy suspense abandons ancient Egypt (The Alchemist) for a satisfying, old-fashioned ghost story with a touch of violence and mayhem. Mary is an amnesiac who wakes up in a sanitarium with no sense of her past other than the dim memory of an incident that took the lives of her physician husband and daughter. Her psychotherapist at the sanitarium convinces her that her family isn't literally dead, and she moves into what she thinks is her lakeside house near Chapel Hill, N.C., hoping that its occupants-a frustrated writer and his rebellious teenage daughter, both spending the summer there-are her family. It gradually becomes clear that Mary is a ghost. The daughter, Elsie, sees her but can't speak to her. The father, Paul, encounters the ghost and actually converses with her. When his wife, Penny, a prominent surgeon, joins her family at the summer house, she has terrifying dreams of blood splattered about the kitchen. As Mary struggles to communicate with the house's isolated, unhappy occupants, they themselves fail to communicate with one another-Paul is miserable over his flagging career; Penny, preoccupied with her work, barely has time for the family; and Elsie is bitterly estranged from both of them. The author slowly reveals the ties between Mary's family and the one she has adopted, and Paul, Penny and Elsie begin to draw together as they research their mysterious visitor. This is a well-told tale with a shocking final revelation. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Coming out of a coma-like state, Mary finds herself disoriented, almost without memories, and in the care of someone she thinks is a doctor in an institution. Desperately seeking answers, she knows she must remember her past in order to make a final transformation, for eventually she acknowledges that she is a ghost. In accepting her own destiny, she helps the family living in her old home face adultery, divorce, and the troubles of a distraught teenager denying her best friend's suicide. The novel begins with Mary and alternates her story with the plot concerning Paul and Penny Mason's failing marriage and their daughter, Elsie. Eventually the plots merge as the Masons begin seeing, experiencing, and talking to the woman. The climax occurs in a natural manner and quickly resolves all difficulties in a gripping final scene. Boyd's complex characters are rich in detail and individual traits. Elsie first appears to be stereotypically drawn, but she takes on her own uniqueness and awakens to the truth about herself and her friend's death. Mary must acknowledge her own death as well as the fate of her family before she can find peace. Paul and Penny reconcile. All the "awakenings" are interwoven, as lives inevitably are. For those who enjoy ghost stories with depth, this is a good choice.-Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Following a novel of magic and ancient Egypt (The Alchemist, 2001) and a romantic werewolf series (The Passion, 1998; etc.), Boyd offers an intriguing, though never actually scary, ghost story (with echoes of the movie The Others). Mary wakes without memory in a undefined place, then returns to her home, where she catches momentary glimpses of Paul and Elsie Mason, whom she believes to be her family. Her circumstances and formal diction tell us she's a ghost long before she figures it out. Paul, a once successful author with writer's block, and Elsie, his unhappy, isolated,13-year-old daughter, are spending the summer at the lake-house outside Chapel Hill; his wife, Penny, a busy surgeon, joins them when she can, which isn't often. Paul's brief, thoughtless, affair with a student cost him his teaching job, and Penny's near-total absorption in her work has their marriage hanging by a thread and has put their daughter in therapy. Elsie and Paul, separately, encounter Mary; Penny, when she visits, has disturbing, blood-soaked dreams of murder. Because they're so alienated from one another, their experiences remain secrets, driving the family further apart, until Paul and Elsie finally speak up and form a new bond, discussing and researching their ghost. Cathy, Paul's sister and Penny's best friend, coping with her husband's terminal cancer, has thrown herself into researching her family history; Cathy's loss, meanwhile, makes Penny rediscover her love for Paul, and her research reveals that a Mason ancestor murdered Mary's family. In a satisfyingly plotted climax, the Masons and Mary come together to restore the ghost's memory, allowing her to move on in the afterlife, thus saving both themarriage and Elsie's life--for Elsie, we find out, has suppressed the memory of her best friend's suicide and is headed that way, too--good deeds that were the purpose of the visitation. A clever, engaging diversion with just enough substance to chew on.

 
Used availability for Donna Boyd's The Awakening


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Hardback Editions

December 2006 : USA Hardback
Title: The Awakening
Author(s): Donna Boyd
ISBN: 0-345-44116-8 / 978-0-345-44116-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Ballantine Books (P)
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

September 2003 : USA Turtleback
Title: Awakening
Author(s): Donna Boyd
ISBN: 0-606-31333-8 / 978-0-606-31333-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Demco Media
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

July 2003 : USA Library Binding
Title: Awakening
Author(s): Donna Boyd
ISBN: 1-4176-3965-2 / 978-1-4176-3965-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: San Val
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

2003 : USA Hardback
Title: The Awakening
Author(s): Donna Boyd
ISBN: 0-7394-3231-1 / 978-0-7394-3231-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

July 2003 : USA Paperback
Title: The Awakening
Author(s): Donna Boyd
ISBN: 0-345-46235-1 / 978-0-345-46235-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

December 2007 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
Title: The Awakening
Author(s): Donna Boyd
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   



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