Author: Wendy Corsi Staub
First published August 21, 2009
240 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9780802796547 (ISBN10: 0802796540)
When Calla’s life falls apart, she is sent to stay with her estranged grandmother in the mysterious town of Lily Dale. Surrounded by psychics and strange occurrences, Calla begins to question her own sanity as she experiences unsettling events that hint at a possible connection to her mother’s tragic death.
With no choice but to stay in Lily Dale, Calla must confront the truth about her family’s past and her own future. Will she be able to handle the truth or will it drive her to the brink of madness?
Find out in Wendy Corsi Staub’s gripping novel, Awakening.
About the Author
Wendy Corsi Staub is a prolific author who has written over 90 novels, including psychological suspense novels under her own name and women’s fiction under the pen name Wendy Markham. Her books have appeared on bestseller lists from USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookscan.
Her latest standalone suspense novel, titled THE OTHER FAMILY, tells the story of a seemingly perfect family that moves into a perfect home, but not everything is as it appears. The book concludes with a surprising twist, earning praise from bestselling author Harlan Coben.
Wendy’s beloved Lily Dale traditional mystery series follows a widowed single mom who is skeptical of the spiritualists in her new town. The series includes titles such as NINE LIVES, SOMETHING BURIED, SOMETHING BLUE, DEAD OF WINTER, and PROSE AND CONS, with a fifth book currently under contract.
Wendy has also written five suspense trilogies for HarperCollins/William Morrow. Her most recent trilogy, The Foundlings, follows the life of a woman who was left as a newborn in a Harlem church and is now an investigative genealogist helping others uncover their roots while searching for her own.
Under the pen name Wendy Markham, her novel HELLO, IT’S ME was adapted into a Hallmark television movie starring Kellie Martin. Her short stories have appeared in various anthologies, including R.L. Stine’s MWA middle grade anthology SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN and the Anthony Award-nominated SHATTERING GLASS.
Wendy has been recognized for her writing with numerous awards, including an RWA Rita Award, an RT Award for Career Achievement in Suspense, and the 2007 RWA-NYC Golden Apple Award for Lifetime Achievement. She has also been a three-time finalist for the Simon and Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award and has received five WLA Washington Irving Prizes for Fiction.
Born and raised in Dunkirk, NY, Wendy graduated from SUNY Fredonia and began her publishing career in New York City. She currently lives in the NYC suburbs with her husband and two sons and is an active supporter of the American Cancer Society and various animal rescue organizations.
Wendy Corsi Staub’s Awakening is a breathtaking psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. First published in August 2009, the book immediately captivated readers with its compelling storyline, relatable characters, and realistic portrayal of mental illness.
The novel follows Laurie, a woman who wakes up in a hospital bed with no memory of how she got there or why she was admitted. As she struggles to piece together her past, she realizes that she may have been involved in the murder of a young girl, a crime that she has no recollection of committing.
With the help of her psychiatrist, Dr. Morrison, Laurie starts to uncover hidden truths about her past and tries to figure out who she can trust. Staub’s writing style is both gripping and descriptive, allowing the reader to fully immerse themselves in Laurie’s world.
The author sets the tone for the story right from the beginning, building the suspense and keeping the reader guessing until the very end. The characters are well-developed and relatable, each with their own secrets and motivations that add depth to the story.
One of the strengths of Awakening is the way that Staub tackles the issue of mental illness. The novel provides a realistic and sensitive portrayal of someone struggling with dissociative amnesia, an often-misunderstood condition.
By giving the reader a first-hand look into Laurie’s mind, Staub humanizes those who suffer from mental illness and helps to break down the stigma surrounding it. However, there are a few weaknesses in the book that are worth mentioning.
Some readers have noted that the pacing can be slow at times, with certain parts of the story feeling drawn out. Additionally, while the ending is satisfying, it may feel a bit predictable to readers who are used to the genre.
Overall, Awakening is a well-crafted and captivating thriller that is sure to please fans of the genre. Staub’s writing is both descriptive and suspenseful, and the way that she addresses mental illness in the novel is both respectful and refreshing.
While there are some minor flaws in the book, they are overshadowed by the strength of the story and the quality of the writing.
The book would be perfect for those who enjoy psychological thrillers or are interested in mental health issues.
It is a must-read for fans of authors like Gillian Flynn or Tana French. Awakening is an engrossing read that will keep you up late into the night, and is ultimately a satisfying and thought-provoking novel.
Therefore, I would give the book a rating of 4.5 out of 5, recommending it to anyone looking for a well-written, suspenseful psychological thriller.