Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Lizzy Mayfield is an independent film director who lost her lover to cancer three years ago. She hasn't been able to recover from that, so she buries herself in her work. When she returns to her home in Amsterdam after a trip, she's surprised to discover that she has two house guests. Judith Hilford and her daughter Emily have run away from a husband, father and relationship that neither one could stand anymore. A mutual friend put them in Lizzy's house thinking they could use it while she was away, giving Judith an opportunity to decide what her next move would be. To Judith's surprise, Lizzy is willing to let them stay and slowly they begin to form a new family. Lizzy isn't sure she's ready for a family and the changes it will bring to her life and Judith isn't sure she's a lesbian. They have a chance to heal each other if they can overcome their fears.
Awakening to Sunlight has a slightly exotic feeling to it because it's set in a European city with a different culture. It has a nice pace as the situation develops gradually giving the characters a chance to really get to know each other. It also addresses two major issues. One woman is trying to piece her life back together after a tremendous loss. The other illustrates the struggle of someone who knows she's in an impossible relationship, but is unsure how to escape from it and start over again. Judith also reveals the economic difficulties many women go through when they have to separate from their husbands or partners who have been supporting them.
Lindsey Stone has created a thoughtful romance with interesting characters. It could have occurred anywhere, but the setting makes it just a little different. Reading the book is worth it just to see Judith emerge from her shell.