Monday, November 06, 2006

BOM: The Awakening--Results and Reader Reaction

I mentioned the other day that some folks won't always "get" the message buried inside a parable. Jesus had to explain his parables to his disciples, so that's why I include discussion questions at the end of my books. Whether or not readers have a book club, I'd love for them to consider the questions and ponder the hidden truths that are very much a part of the story.

Okay--now on to the good and the bad. I could just share the positive reviews, you know, but I want you to see that I don't always hear only the "good things."

From Publisher's Weekly:

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. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From an Amazon review of UNSPOKEN:

I loved UNSPOKEN! After not even being able to finish THE AWAKENING I was afraid Angela Hunt was done with giving us wonderful refreshing stories but she has redeemed herself with Sema's story . . .

And another Amazon review:

The Awakening is a truly astounding work of art. . . I am reluctant to even write a review on this book as I feel completely handicapped in relating how much Angela Hunt means to me. Since becoming a Christian I became both lost and found; found in Christ, but lost in the world. Everything I had once loved, the literature, the art, movies, it all now lacked that God-spark and spirit. . . . .
In The Awakening we have Aurora, the significance of the name not lost, trapped by lies built up as stakes supposedly to keep her safe. I related deeply to this woman who connects to the world through books, and is somewhat wary of the human heart. She is in want of nothing, rich, intelligent, attractive, but she is disconnected from the world, from her heart and from her soul and her mind is becoming unseamed as it knows she needs the truth to survive, but is Aurora strong enough to let the truth enter her world? Gently a neighbor helps Aurora see the light, the light of truth, of God, of her own being and she lifts those stakes of lies and realizes she is not alone, she is not helpless. I would recommend this book to anyone as a testimony to the power of Christ . . .
Angie here again: Wow. Letters like that make all the work worthwhile.

Seriously--I hope the last two reviews illustrate something I've learned--you can pour your heart into a book, pray over it, polish it, and offer it to the world. Some people won't be able to get through it, and others will praise it to the skies.

But you know what? While I'm grateful for the latter kind of letter/review, I know that it really isn't my pen that's working. It's the Spirit of God. The same Spirit that called Aurora to wakefulness works through the printed page to touch readers. When that miracle happens, it isn't due to me . . . it's the Spirit's work. I do my part and try to remain faithful to my calling and craft, but it's God who works the true miracles.

Tomorrow: your questions, if you have any. Leave them in the comments and I'll answer them tomorrow!
P.S. If you've been following the Haggard affair (sorry for the choice of words), Brandilyn Collins has an interesting perspective featured in her blog today. Click on her name in my blogroll to the right.

Thanks for coming along on another BOM journey!



Susanne said...

Angela I love reading through the book process with you! I can hardly wait to read the Awakening. It's on my Christmas list but I may not be able to hold out that long! Thanks for letting us come along on this process with you!


Anonymous said...

I think the parable of the Lost Sheep is everybody at some point in their life. When you write you parable stories do you find yourself in awe of everything?

Anonymous said...

Correction it should be your not you :)

Leslie said...

Thanks for the link to Brandylynn Collins site (I know I just spelled her name wrong... oh well). Very good piece she's done.