Recap of The Awakening by Nora Roberts

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book cover The Awakening by Nora Roberts

Trope: The Chosen One
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Published: November 24, 2020

Breen and her mother don’t exactly get along. Breen has been following her mother’s guidance on how to live her life. Breen suffers from anxiety and doesn’t own a car because she can not afford one, but has a great best friend named Marco. One day while her mother is away and Breen is taking care of her mother’s house and plants. A strange wind goes through the house and blows papers and files out of her mother’s file cabinet. While going through the papers to put them back, she realizes these are for a bank account in her name. This bank account had been receiving deposits from a bank in Ireland and realizes this must have been set up by her father who left her and her mother. This account has over $4 million in it. Breen takes the first steps to take control back by calling the manager over the account and sets up a meeting with him as soon as she can get there from her mother’s house.

She meets with the broker and moves the funds into an account with only her name so she can remove her mother’s name from the account. Her mother had told the broker Breen was irresponsible, so Breen had some convincing to do so he would see her as responsible and move the funds over. This included giving the broker the name of the Principal at the school where Breen teaches.

Breen is stressed so she goes to the bar where her friend Marco works. They plan a trip to Ireland together. Marco though will only join for 2 weeks. 

Before leaving for Ireland, Breen confronts her mother about the funds kept from her. After leaving she passes a store called Express Me, she goes in and gets a tattoo in Irish which says courage. Breen’s dreams change and she dreams of a city on cliffs, war, and dancing with a dragon.

Marco pushes Breen and sets her up with a blog for the Ireland trip. Breen writes about their adventures daily, and about finding herself. While staying at a castle she meets Moreena and her Falcon. Breen has fun with the Falcon and gets Moreena a gift, only to learn she wasn’t part of the Falcon school at the castle. On their last day at the castle, Marco gets a tattoo of a harp. They then depart the castle for a cottage where Breen will spend the rest of her stay in Ireland.

While at the cottage, Breen starts writing a story. Breen and Marco have a relaxing stay in the cottage until it’s time for Marco to return to their apartment. Later Breen finds a dog and tries to catch up to him so she can find who he belongs to and return him home. The dog however leads her to Talamh (pronounced Talif), and passes out after passing through the portal there.

While recovering from passing out, she learns who the dog belongs to and that his name is Bollucks. When returning the dog home, she learns the dog belongs to her Grandmother, and her Grandmother tells her Bollucks is hers. Learns she was born in Talamh on a farm not far from her Grandmother’s. Her Grandmother also tells Breen her father is dead. She learns the story of when she was 3 and was kidnapped by her Grandfather who is actually a God, named Odrin. Her mother freaked after that and wanted Breen back in the human world to protect her.

Breen meets Moreena again and learns they used to be good friends. When Moreena escorts Breen back through the portal to the human world, in a fit of frustration that Breen forgot about everyone from Talamh, she unfurls her wings and flies around with Breen before landing at the cottage.

The next day, Breen’s Grandmother takes her to see her Father’s grave where she is attacked by a follower of Odrin who happens to come upon her. She is saved by Keegan and his dragon. Breen learns Keegan is the Teshock. She’s a little shaken from the attack but also because she recognizes Keegan from her dreams but he’s not very nice.

Breen begins learning magic from her Grandmother and after learning she is the key for Odrin to take over Talamh and possibly the human world, begins training to fight with Keegan. She starts writing a Children’s book about Bollucks’s adventures. 

Ischult, who is a close follower of Odrin, visits Breen one day when she is traveling to Talamh. Ischult pretends to be a friend of Breen’s Grandmother so Breen doesn’t realize she’s in danger. She does catch on as Ischult slips in what and how she says things. Breen is bitten by Ischult’s snake with a deadly poison just as Keegan arrives. He heard Breen singing and realized she was in danger. Keegan has Breen combine powers with him so they can cure her from the venom of the snake.

Breen finishes the children’s book and after some coaxing from her Grandmother, queries an agent. The agent loves it and sells the story to a publisher. Breen has to leave Talamh, but also doesn’t really want to leave. But she has to in order to work some things out with Marco, go face her mother and confront her now that Breen knows why her mother pushed her in the way she did, and also to sign the contracts for publishing her book. Keegan gets mad Breen is leaving when Odrin could attack any time, but ultimately it is her choice and he will just have to do what he can to keep Talamh safe.

After returning home, she confronts her mother. Her mother doesn’t like Breen using magic in her home and Breen leaves her mother’s house, not on good terms. She later flies to New York to meet with the publisher of her book. After returning from the meet she talks to Marco and after much pushing from Breen, he reluctantly agrees to be her social media manager. Breen also starts making plans to return to the cottage in Ireland, and to Talamh.

Keegan goes to get Breen after about a month, not realizing she is already making plans to return. Keegan finds her at the bar where Marco works. They talk and Keegan realizes she was already planning to come back. They go back to the apartment, but Breen was visibly upset which Marco notices. Breen starts collecting her things to return to Talamh that evening with Keegan. Breen and Keegan have a small fight and Keegan tries to tell her he will find another way that she doesn’t need to return with him. She collapses crying to the floor. Keegan reaches for her to help her stand just as Marco enters the apartment. Marco thinks Keegan was hurting Breen because she was crying on the floor when he entered and goes for Keegan. Breen stops Marco.

Since Marco is there, Breen decides she has to tell him what is going on. He is overwhelmed to learn what is really going on and that Breen is going back to fight. Marco becomes scared for Breen and makes a split-second decision when Keegan opens the portal to take him and Breen back to Talamh, Marco jumps in with them.

We see what happens to Marco, Breen, and Keegan in The Becoming.