Ballantine, July 2003, 12.95, 208 pp.
Paul and Penny Mason spend the summer in their home in Mercy, North Carolina trying to patch up their marriage and help their thirteen-year-old daughter Elsie heal from a trauma she went through a year ago. Paul is a best-selling author of children's books and had been a professor at the Woodlands, but was fired for having an affair with one of his students. Penny is working hard at trying to forgive him but is spending more of her time in Chapel Hill doing surgeries than staying at a lake house that is making her increasingly uneasy.
Penny has vivid dreams of the people that lived in the town in 1932 and the tragedy that occurred in her home. Elsie sees the ghost of Mary who is looking for her own husband and child. Paul is the only one who can speak to Mary but he doesn't understand why she is haunting his home. Elsie and Paul research the history of their home but it is Penny who finds out the answers that Mary needs to move on after she saves her daughter's life.
Donna Boyd has written a chilling and spooky old fashioned ghost story about two worlds in time and space that temporally connect so that members of one family can interact with the surviving member of the other family who needs to discover the truth about her past. The characters are all victims and survivors who must find a way to move on from the tragedies that have affected their lives. Readers will really enjoy THE AWAKENING and appreciate the wonder that is so much a part of this stirring tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner