I have been wanting to share my review of this book with you for a very long time. Towards the end of last year I had the opportunity to read the manuscript and was absolutely blown away by the beauty and depth of the story. Now that "Awakening" has been published and I have reread the finished product, I finally get to share my thoughts and encourage you to pick it up for yourself! Incredibly, it's free on Kindle today, but just for a limited time, so hurry on over there.
Kallie Andreas does not know who she is. Seven years ago she woke up in a New York museum with no memories of her life before. She has managed to cope with the help of a few key people, getting through college and procuring a job at the museum where she was for all intents and purposes born. Kallie feels drawn to history, perhaps all the more so because her own is a mystery.
Life changes when museum patron Dimitri Andreas shows up after years spent abroad, and Kallie could not be more surprised when he approaches her about leading a team to retrieve an artifact which could prove crucial to the project she has been working on for years. This is very much outside her comfort zone, but a little bit of desperation helps her decide to leave behind her fears and inadequacy and make a leap into the unknown.
As she starts her adventure, Kallie begins journaling a story of love and danger set in ancient Greece on the island of Kalliste, which is now called Santorini. She feels compelled to write from a place deep inside of her, and her therapist believes her story is helping to uncover her past and help her find who she truly is. We get to read along as she writes and try to discern if she's just paralleling her globe-trotting journey or if there is hidden meaning in her words.
The search for the artifact takes Kallie and team not only to Egypt, but also to Venice and eventually to Santorini itself. This novel is full of Tracy Higley's distinctive eye for details and presents each location so vividly that you feel you are the one getting desert sand in your eyes or enjoying a ride in a gondola. Each step is filled with peril, romance, and hope that Kallie will truly find all that she is searching for, including her memory. When the moment of full remembrance comes, be prepared! As I wrote in my feedback to the author last year, it "sent me over a mental edge." The story suddenly bursts into living color and you realize that there is hidden meaning everywhere.
This novel is part contemporary, part historical, and part speculative, with a dash of allegory thrown in, too. The themes are absolutely amazing, from the long and hard road that inner healing requires, to the fact that Jesus Christ is the thread the goes throughout all history, leading us to our true home. Will Kallie be able to find her home, her people, her family?
I received my copy of the book from the author. All opinions in this review are my own.