Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (1/19)
Love, betrayal and deception. Political intrigue, international spies, and alter-egos. “Awakening” by Jackie Goldman is a fascinating read, and it’s venture into different genres makes it an appealing choice for a widespread audience.
To Tess Shapiro, her entire life seems based on lies. As she struggles to make sense of her life and her purpose, she meets with challenges in every avenue of her life. The only way to ease her frustrations is through drawing graphic novels, a hobby she has engaged in throughout her life. Starring in these graphic novels is Andrea Chambers, Tess’s alter-ego, and she uses her flair with the blank page to conquer and eliminate travails not so easily dealt with in the real world.
Goldman’s characters are full of personalities that jump off the page. Tess is a likeable protagonist complete with flaws who drifts in and out of different personalities like a chameleon. From frazzled single-mom to caring French program teacher to vulnerable lover and indignant daughter, there are so many different layers to experience right alongside Tess on her journey of self-discovery through some painful and traumatic events.
Tess’s sociopathic ex-husband is infuriating, and I found myself gritting my teeth at his actions and behavior. There were several moments when I wanted Tess to just start swinging at him – talk about bringing characters to life! Likewise, many of her characters will evoke strong emotions in the reader.
Perhaps the most unique element of this novel is Goldman’s integration of her graphic artwork, telling their own story and adding to the depth of Tess’s character through her alter-ego. I looked forward to these pages, eager to learn more about the fierce Andrea Chambers and had to steel myself not to fan through the pages to read all the graphic novel entries first!
The author’s proficiency in writing with a contemporary, genuine flair, incorporating all of the best elements of various genres and highlighting her creative talent with the addition of her artwork make for a truly one-of-a-kind experience.
“Awakening” by Jackie Goldman will “awaken” all of your senses. Engrossing and highly entertaining, I highly recommend this novel for a distinct, memorable read.