by Tina Ann Forkner
Expected publication: October 8, 2014
by Tule Publishing
Behind every lost dream lies a second chance…
When adored town spinster Joy Talley ends up in a coma after a peculiar accident, she is surprised and incensed to hear what is being said in her hospital room, including plans for her funeral. When she finally wakes, her well-‐meaning, but bossy, brothers and sisters dismiss her claims, thinking her accident has knocked her off her rocker, but Joy has never felt better, and is determined to set the past right.
Now Joy must face her darkest secret and risk reopening wounds caused by an old flame who rejected her more than twenty years ago. But taking risks brings change, as well as a new, younger man into Joy’s life, making her feel like a teenager again. Suddenly Joy’s once humdrum life is anything but boring and routine and the future beckons, exhilarating and bright.
Waking Up Joy is an interesting story. Joy has never gotten over her teenage love, so she has refused all offers of dates and is now in her forties with no children. She has a quirky, loving family and still lives in her childhood house with her mom who believes strongly in the power of charms. Right after her mother passes away, Joy climbs onto the roof to retrieve a charm she hid in the chimney (one among many). She has an unfortunate accident which puts her into a coma and causes her family to believe she tried to commit suicide. Joy can hear everything that is being said around her while in this coma, including her long-lost love whose wife passed several years before. After she comes out of the coma, Joy feels as if she has been reborn and is ready to make changes in her life.
I really liked Joy's quirky family, especially the glimpses we got to see of her deceased mother, and how much the family loved each other. I thought the twist was interesting because that was not the story I expected to be behind the charm Joy hid in the chimney. I also liked how this story was set in Northeast Oklahoma and there was a mention of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, because I don't read many books that choose this as the setting. (On a side note, I will say that if there is a JC Penney in Siloam Springs, I've never seen it. But of course, this doesn't detract from the story.) On the other hand, there was something about this book that made it a little hard to read, although I can't really figure out why, and it did seem to drag through the middle. However, I still enjoyed this story and especially the ending, and I would recommend this to anyone who likes women's fiction.
Copy was provided for an honest review.
Tina Ann Forkner is a Women’s Fiction writer and the author of Rose House and Ruby Among Us. While she was born and raised in Oklahoma, lived in England, and attended college in California, Tina makes her home in Cheyenne, Wyoming with her husband, three teenagers, and two spoiled dogs.
Find out more at TinaAnnForkner.com.