The Awakening is another side trip by Nora Roberts into the fantasy genre with the setting in Ireland. The book itself is a wonderful novel about loyalty, duty, and the journey of a young woman to find her true self. I loved the fantasy aspect but after the first part the author changed her style and tone and not every scene and every dialogue was successful from then on. I had sometimes the feeling that the author had made a bad joke instead of telling her readers a wonderfully build scene and hilarious dialogue. The confusing and very hasty end added to the peculiar way and left me with a weird and surprising feeling. What the heck was that?!

by Nora Roberts
Der Zauber Der Grünen Insel #1
Translation Uta Hege
Original Title The Awakening
Publisher Blanvalet on August 16, 2021
Genre Novel
Pages 668
Format Paperback
Source Blanvalet

The young teacher Breen Kelly is dissatisfied. She doesn't enjoy the job, and even her best friend Marco hardly manages to make her laugh. When she learns that her father, who left her and her mother years ago, has invested a huge amount of money for her, she spontaneously quits in order to spend the summer in his home country Ireland. Between the green expanses of the island and in a cozy cottage, she thinks about herself and gains new courage. When one day a cute puppy wakes up in front of her door, she follows the animal and ends up in another world - a world in which not only her true fate but also a very attractive man is waiting for her ... (Personal translation by ©Vi at Inkvotary).
Breen is not happy with her life. Her job as a teacher is not what she wanted to do for the rest of her life and the situation with her mother is anything but good. When she finds out by accident that there is a bank account with a lot of money – her money, she decides to give her life a turn and a chance to find out who she really is. And what she really wants. And steps into a world of magic, danger, and the love of a caring grandmother.

The reading speed is very quick at the beginning and the plot is varied and very entertaining. The smoldering conflict between Breen and her mother became apparent early on and makes it clear to the reader that there is still a lot going on between mother and daughter. The author expresses this conflict with a successful mixture of directness and sensitivity, making reading a pleasure for the reader.

The scenes with Marco and Sally alone are not only great to read because of the delicious dialogues, the way in which Nora Roberts captured the nuances was also pure enjoyment. Unfortunately, with the beginning of the second part, the author brings a break in the story. Both in terms of writing style and the genre and it gets very mystical in places and a bit too fantastic for my taste. The only good thing was that Nora Roberts´ style is always recognizable and thus gives the plot a good balance.

In this book, the most diverse characters come together and complement each other wonderfully into a whole. Sally, in particular, is awesome. She only has a few appearances, but they have it all. Sally´s way of thinking, acting, and talking has fascinated me from the start. I had to wipe many tears of laughter from my eyes. This figure is just gorgeous!

Breen´s inner struggle with herself and her mother´s behavior is impressively portrayed by Nora Roberts. Introverted, cool motherly love meets the liveliness and strangeness of two worlds united in the daughter, who is bent and turned upside down for fear of the strange.

Apart from the style break after the first part and the rushed cliffhanger at the end, I was very well entertained by the rest. Well, the story has one or two weak points, something I am not used to from the author, but in the end, I was entertained quite well. Not the best work of the author, but some enjoyable reading hours are definitely provided here.

Happy reading

*This book was kindly provided to me by Blanvalet in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. Therefore, the cover of the German edition is shown first in this review.

Deutsche Rezension

Das Lesetempo ist zu Beginn sehr zügig und die Handlung abwechslungsreich und sehr unterhaltsam. Der schwelende Konflikt zwischen Breen und ihrer Mutter zeichnet sich schon früh ab und macht dem Leser klar, dass hier noch so einiges im Argen liegt zwischen Mutter und Tochter. Die Autorin bringt diesen Konflikt mit einer gelungenen Mischung aus Direktheit und Feinfühligkeit zum Ausdruck und macht so das Lesen für den Leser zum reinsten Vergnügen.

Allein die Szenen mit Marco und Sally sind nicht nur von den köstlichen Dialogen her großartig zu lesen, auch die Art und Weise, wie Nora Roberts die Zwischentöne eingefangen hat, war Genuss pur. Leider bringt die Autorin mit Beginn des zweiten Teils einen Bruch in die Geschichte. Sowohl was den Schreibstil als auch das Genre angeht und es wird stellenweise sehr mystisch und für meinen Geschmack eine Spur zu fantastisch. Das einzige Gute war, dass der Stil von Nora Roberts immer zu erkennen ist und somit dem Plot eine gelungene Balance gibt.

In diesem Buch kommen die unterschiedlichsten Charaktere zusammen und ergänzen sich auf wundervolle Weise zu einem Ganzen. Besonders Sally ist der Hammer. Sie hat zwar nur wenige Auftritte, doch die haben es in sich. Sallys Art zu denken, zu handeln und zu reden, haben mich von Beginn an fasziniert. Da musste ich mir so manche Lachträne aus den Augen wischen. Diese Figur ist einfach herrlich!

Breens inneren Kampf mit sich selbst und dem Verhalten ihrer Mutter wird von Nora Roberts auf beeindruckende Weise dargestellt. Da trifft introvertierte, kühle Mutterliebe auf die Lebendigkeit und Fremdartigkeit zweier Welten vereint in der Tochter, die aus Angst vor dem Fremden verbogen und total auf den Kopf gestellt wird.

Abgesehen von dem Stilbruch nach dem ersten Teil und dem überstürzten Cliffhanger am Ende bin ich vom Rest sehr gut unterhalten worden. Gut, die eine oder andere Schwachstelle hat die Geschichte, etwas, was ich von der Autorin nicht gewohnt bin, aber am Ende wurde ich doch recht gut unterhalten. Nicht das beste Werk der Autorin, aber für einige vergnügliche Lesestunden wird hier durchaus gesorgt.

*This book was published The Awakening by St. Martin´s Press on November 24, 2020. 

Nora Roberts
Nora Roberts ©Bruce Wilder

Nora Roberts, born in Silver Spring, Maryland, is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels. During the now-famous blizzard, she pulled out a pencil and notebook and began to write. It was there that a career was born. Several manuscripts and rejections later, her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published by Silhouette in 1981. Having spent her life surrounded by men, Ms. Roberts has a fairly good view of the workings of the male mind, which is a constant delight to her readers. It was, she’s been quoted as saying, a choice between figuring men out or running away screaming. Nora is a member of several writer’s groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry. Recently The New Yorker called her “America’s favorite novelist.” She is also the author of the bestselling futuristic suspense series written under the pen name J. D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.


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