cover image THE AWAKENING


Angela Elwell Hunt, . . WestBow, $14.99 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-8499-4481-9

A dreamlike quality pervades this lovely tale by Hunt, the veteran author of more than 70 books. Thirty-five-year-old Aurora Norquest is left floundering after the mother she's nursed through dementia dies. Aurora rattles around her Manhattan apartment, suffering from agoraphobia and contemplating suicide. She also begins to wonder about the father she's never known, a famous horror novelist. Yet something as significant as finding her father is a long shot for Aurora, who is afraid even to walk to her apartment building's lobby. Then Philip, an economics teacher, gently pries Aurora from her cocoon and awakens her to life—and to faith. (Readers will notice the names correspond to the princess and prince in Sleeping Beauty , among other parallels.) As Aurora confronts her haunting dreams, voices (could they be from God?) and fears, she begins to discover that much about her past that she had taken for granted was untrue. The novelist father—who has everything, yet longs for the daughter he's never known— intentionally mirrors the biblical parable of the shepherd and the one lost sheep. The capable Hunt handles the mechanics of storytelling with aplomb, and the happy conclusion, while a bit rushed, should please. (July)