The Awakening: A Woman’s Search For Truth, by Lisa Anne, ISBN 9781440197093
Four out of five stars
In the broad view, this is a book about a woman in a failing marriage with three children that keep her running fast and furious. Meg Richards is married to Craig and he is struggling in his job, losing a major account to their neighbor. Craig is a person with problems from his childhood that Meg only has a slight understanding of and he is withdrawing from both the marriage and their children. All other members of the household tense up when he comes home, there are no significant conversations between Craig and Meg or the children.
Meg has two siblings that were always the ones favored by the parents and that has extended into adulthood. Conversations with her mother never seem to have any content in the form of support or assistance to Meg. A therapist, Meg is very good at her job, but that talent is divorced from her personal life. She does have one close friend, a woman that was abused as a child and is still working through the long-term consequences.
The story moves along well, despite the relatively innocuous events. There are no dynamic and extremely tense moments, just situations that all people face at some point in their lives. For example, nearly everyone with children has attended a gathering where it was necessary to bring food and purchased their contributions due to a lack of time.
In the last section of the story, Meg learns a great deal about Craig’s childhood problems and the truth about the lives of her sisters. In many ways the book reminded me of the classic “Catcher in the Rye” where the main character thinks everyone is phony. It turns out that everyone Meg deals closely with is wearing a Potemkin facade that covers what they really are. Once Meg understands this, she realizes that her life is not the relatively hopeless entity that she thought it was. For nothing alters your perspective more than learning that the people you envy in fact envy you.