Family Tragedy and Its Effects in The Sleepwalker

January 6, 2017 Book Review, reviews 5

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.

Family Tragedy and Its Effects in The SleepwalkerThe Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian
Published by Doubleday Books on January 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 304
Source: complimentary review copy
AmazonBarnes & Noble
Goodreads

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using the link, I will receive a small commission from the sale at no cost to you.

four-stars

Chris Bohjalian is one of those authors I purchase immediately. I’ve yet to read anything formulaic or contrived that he’s written. From parasomnia and human trafficking to World War II and midwives, Bohjalian’s breadth of topics and genres are wide and far-reaching.

In his latest, The Sleepwalker, Annalee Ahlberg disappears while her husband is out of town. Annalee is home alone with her two daughters, Lianna, a senior in college and Paige, a sophmore in high school.   Because Annalee suffers from parasomnia, the worst is feared.

Four years prior, Lianna found her mother on the precipice of a bridge and had to guide her home. Since that incident, Warren has not traveled overnight for work. Annalee has taken medication to help reduce the symptoms. While Lianna has remained her mother’s vigilant watcher.

The Sleepwalker is horrifying in a real-world aspect. My youngest daughter had a habit of sleepwalking until middle school. My mom says I was the same way when I was growing up. We both continue to have long detailed conversations in our sleep. But parasomnia? It is an entirely different level of sleep disturbance.

The first few chapters of The Sleepwalker focuses on the search for Annalee and the family’s response to her disappearance. The middle tended to drag in places, and I found myself skimming paragraphs. Though I wonder if that wasn’t deliberate? I imagine during a tragic disappearance the days drag, life moves slowly and nothing seems to happen. The ending was completely unexpected.

I finished The Sleepwalker a couple of weeks ago and still find myself haunted by the story. The Ahlberg family fractures as a result of Annalee’s disappearance. And isn’t that true-to-life? Families are either made stronger in tragedy or torn apart. What makes or breaks the unit? And that is the underlying question – could your family survive a tragedy? Recommended.

Meet the Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

For further reading, try the short story prequel The Premonition

Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the review copy.

 

 

four-stars

5 Responses to “Family Tragedy and Its Effects in The Sleepwalker”

  1. Sarah's Book Shelves

    I just finished this one and really enjoyed it. I of course started googling parasomnia and the particular iterations of it and it’s a totally real thing…making this story even more fascinating.

    Bohjalian really does have incredible breadth, doesn’t he?!

  2. Kay

    I can’t believe that I’ve never read a book by Bohjalian. I’ve certainly meant to. This one seems like a good place to start. I find the idea of sleepwalking fascinating and pretty terrifying.
    Kay recently posted…kay’s week – 1.7.17My Profile

  1. January Reading Wrap-Up - The Gilmore Guide to Books

    […] The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian: One of my favorite authors but this one was a miss for me. Again, no tension. Wife is a known sleepwalker and disappears one night. In the course of the novel we learn that not only does she walk in her sleep but she has sex which introduces a whole other element to the novel and one that felt forced to me. Both because I love Bohjalian’s books so much and because I know other bloggers who loved this book I’m going to redirect you to their reviews so you don’t have to take my word on this one. It just didn’t work for me. Full reviews: Sarah’s Bookshelves, The Novel Life, Bookstalkerblog. […]

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge