Monday, January 9, 2017

The Sleepwalker

Chris Bohjalian never disappoints me. His most recent novel, The Sleepwalker, is released today and I have been waiting for a while now to talk about it with someone.

Annalee is a beautiful woman. A wife, mother, successful architect.  She is also a woman with a sleep disorder.  She sleepwalks when her husband is not home, away at conferences for his work as an English professor.  Her disorder has been under control over the past few years, but this may be more to do with the fact that her husband has chosen not to travel for work.  

Her oldest daughter comes home from college when her father is going to be gone for work for a few days.  And while he is away, Annalee disappears.  Liliana and Paige didn't hear anything in the night and have no idea where their mom may have gone. Whatever happened to her that night while she was sleepwalking has prevented her from coming home.

As Liliana narrates, she shares memories of her childhood: her mother's many miscarriages, the few times she experienced her own sleepwalking as a young child, and what she remembers of her mother's sleep disorder.

As the search for Annalee continues, Liliana moves home from college, and begins a relationship with the detective assigned to her mother's case- a man with his own sleep disorder.

Bohjalian throws some surprises in this story that kept me turning pages frantically. Although I had things mostly figured out  I loved this novel. I love how Bohjalian shares the mundane details of his characters' lives and makes them real. I love how just when you feel like you know where a story is leading, he can throw a surprise in that will totally change things.   

The Sleepwalker is Bohjalian at his best.  This one ranks right up there with Midwives, his novel that was chosen as an Oprah Book Club pick long ago.


Kay said...

I want to read this one. I've not ever read a book by Chris Bohjalian, though I've certainly meant to. Sleepwalking is intriguing to me.

Marce said...

This sounds fascinating, I have been waiting for it to release as I didn't get approved for an ARC. It will be my next read. I enjoyed The Guestroom last year and Trans -Sister Radio was one of the best book club choices for me. I must read Midwives.

Anne Bennett said...

I am glad to know you think this book is up there with Midwives. I haven't cared for his book since his first. I'll look for it at the library. Thanks.