Funny story. I met Angie through my lovely editor/proofreader for Don’t Say “I Do”, Beth (vbproofreads.com). Angie volunteered as tribute to ARC read, and the rest is history. For the sake of transparency, I do regard Angie as a friend. But! For those of you who follow my blog, you know that I do my best to remain impartial.
Awakening Hearts is Angie’s debut lesbian fiction novel. In this story, we follow two pairs, connected and bound together by a past life. We follow Lizzy and Claudia in Ohio in 1862 as they navigate the waters of a blossoming attraction. Their love story transcends the confines of death, reawakening in Sage and Alex in California in 2014. Their story is no less rife with hardship and internal struggle — this time with Alex wrestling with her Christian identity and the teachings surrounding homosexuality.
Awakening Hearts is one of those books you cannot stop thinking about once you put it down. It brings up many questions — about love, bias, belief structures, and reconciling our true selves with them. Beyond that, it makes you think about what comes after — if there is life after we leave our bodies.
I have one general rule. If a book makes me cry (and it’s not in frustration as I throw it across the room at the 33% mark), it’s deserving of five stars. This book succeeded in doing that.
I felt my feelings. I experienced the whole range of human emotion in these pages. It took me many days to sit down and write this review because I wanted to do the story and the overarching concepts justice.
The book is written from two perspectives. Lizzy and Sage. Every other chapter you travel between 1862 and 2014. You’re experiencing both stories at the same time — which is a difficult way to tell stories, but I feel Angie did a remarkable job with it. I worried that the heavy parts of their stories would line up and that it would be prolonged doom and gloom. But she managed to structure it in a way that there was levity to console you through the heartbreak.
There are some areas where I can see this book might not be for everyone. A lot of the language used in the narrative is very spiritual (some people might describe it as “New-Age”). If that’s off-putting to you, I don’t feel like Awakening Hearts would be a book you would enjoy. Additionally, if you’re also someone who doesn’t like dialogue-heavy scenes, you might struggle with this one. Neither of which are overall negatives, but everyone has their own preferences.
Like for me? This was a home run. I loved this. I was engrossed from the moment I opened the book, and if it weren’t for real life getting in the way, I wouldn’t have put it down!
This is a stunning debut by Angie, and I am so happy to have had the opportunity to have read it. I am eagerly awaiting the next book!
Let’s get a little bit metaphysical here today. Do you believe in past lives? Do you think it’s possible to find your soul mate in another life? I’m eager to hear your thoughts! Sound off in the comments down below!
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