Henry Holt, 2004; Harcourt Brace/Harvest, 2005

A mother seeks freedom for her young son—and rediscovers her own need for it in the process—in this powerful novel about family, identity, and love. Beautifully written, emotionally wrenching, Awake showcases the strengths of Elizabeth Graver’s acclaimed previous novel, The Honey Thief, the focus shifting from childhood to adulthood.


Praise for Awake:

“Superbly crafted, intensely involving, Awake is a psychological drama, a thoroughly credible examination of a woman in conversation with herself. . . . There are no easy answers, and Graver gives us none. She gives us, instead, a story that feels real, lived in and honest.”Chicago Tribune

“Unexpected and moving.”Boston Globe

“Supple prose style and delicate feel for human motivation…” Newsday

“Anyone who’s ever had to make a tough choice will sympathize–and feel vindicated by Anna’s ultimate decision.” Marie Claire

“Graver possesses an uncanny ability to untangle complex emotions. She gently teases apart the strands of the tangled human mess, revealing component parts of the truth in commonplace occurrences. Graver understands emotions are never pure. Her ability to distill those murky waters into something we can identify and recognize as our own compels.”WBUR Arts

“A deeply moving portrait of a woman who has forgotten to think of herself…an intriguing and memorable read, marked by fine writing and shrewd observations on marriage and family dynamics.”Chattanooga Times Free Press

“Graver has written beautifully about the pain of betrayal. She has captured the emotional intricacies of being a woman in love with two men…. The relationships that Anna has with her two sons and her distant husband are rich territories, beautifully cultivated. Her mining of motherhood is exquisite.”The News Journal (Delaware)

“Graver’s sublimely honest first-person narrative powerfully imparts Anna’s confusion with empathic sensitivity, compassionately depicting one woman’s struggle to simultaneously retain and release the best parts of her self.” Booklist

“Gracefully written and emotionally rich…. Graver’s lyrical portrait of a woman in crisis will resonate with many readers.” Publishers Weekly

“A beautifully constructed tribute to a self-sacrificing parenting that segues into a clear-eyed anatomy of the inevitable destructive power of infidelity.” Library Journal

Elizabeth Graver has an astonishing ability to imagine herway deep inside her characters, illuminating complex lives and situations. This is a passionate, deeply engaging novel.”–Andrea Barrett, author of Servants of the Map

“A fascinating account of a foreign world quickly flowers into the painfully beautiful tale of any parent’s heart. How the best of our passions make us both brave and foolish, how we can never quite balance what we must give away and what we have a right to keep for ourselves, how much more elusive wisdom becomes once we have children: Tackling some of the thorniest mysteries of love, Elizabeth Graver has written a novel of moral gravity as well as emotional suspense.” Julia Glass, author of Three Junes

Awake is a marvelous read–a sharp, moving, sexy story of one mother’s attempt to recapture the young woman she once was. Elizabeth Graver brilliantly lays out the precarious balance of domesticity and desire that makes (and unmakes) a marriage.” –Stewart O’Nan, author of The Night Country

“Elizabeth Graver’s Awake is a revelation; she writes with eloquence and heartrending precision about the darkest moments of parenting and the brightest, about the shifting allegiances of families, and about the way a marriage’s surface can, over time, become crazed with so many tiny cracks that the inevitable shattering, when it comes, is both a cataclysm and a relief.” Carolyn Parkhurst, author of The Dogs of Babel

Published on February 14, 2013 at 10:24 am  Leave a Comment  

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