Reading Group Guide
1. Angela Hunt has described The Awakening as a parable, a story designed to illustrate a spiritual truth. What truth(s) do you think the story illustrates?
2. Do any of the characters in The Awakening have spiritual counterparts? Do you think it's possible that Theodore Norquest, a horror novelist, could represent God? Why or why not?
3. Is God horrifying? What aspects of his character could be terrifying?
4. At one point Aurora recalls something she once read about an ancient means of execution--how the Romans strapped a dead body to a living one. Why do you think this image resonated with her? How is it reflected in her dreams?
5. Read the following paragraph and discuss how it relates to the gifts God has given his children. How has he endowed us? And what sort of responsibilities does that endowment entail?
Still . . . something in me yearns to know the man whose image I bear. . . . And he named me as an heir to so many of his copyrights--an act that could mean more than his monetary endowments. I'm no expert about copyright law, but I know he is entrusting me with the fruits of his creativity, allowing me to control and reap benefits from his work. With that responsibility comes the power to prevent his works from ever being published again . . . or ensure that they are published throughout the world.
6. "The important thing," Phil tells Aurora, "is knowing your father remembered you. If your brain is conjuring up memories instead of dreams, maybe he thought of you every year but your mother prevented you from receiving his gifts." Has the Father sent gifts to you that, for one reason or another, you've been prevented from receiving?
7. What do you think happens to a child's self-image when one parent teaches the child to hate the other parent? How is this evidenced in Aurora's life?
8. One of Aurora's graphic nightmares features cockroaches. If you were to attempt dream analysis, what do you think the cockroaches might represent?
9. Of the woman in the penthouse, Aurora says, "I've been trying not to think about the woman in the penthouse, but I keep seeing her in that man's arms. She is Beauty and the Beast, both personalities encased in a slim, golden-haired package. . . . How can a person look so delicate and be so manipulative?" How do Aurora's thoughts about this woman relate to her thoughts about her mother?
10. Aurora has a terrible time writing a letter to her father. How does this compare to the difficulty some people have when they sincerely try to pray for the first time?
11. Though Aurora is joyfully accepted by her father's family, she does have to deal with a few cultural differences when she joins them. How does this relate to what new Christians face when they join other believers in fellowship? How can more mature Christians help newcomers to the family of God?
12. Do you have any idea why Hunt named the two main characters Aurora Rose and Philip? Hint: think classic fairy tale.