Helen Walsh is a writer who elicits genuine excitement with each new novel. Having devoured Brass and Once Upon a Time in England, I was eager to pick up Go To Sleep. Having heard Walsh on Radio Four, and an appearance on This Morning following her piece in The Times, I was intrigued to discover her new work dealt with sleep deprivation, specifically relating to the experience of parenting.
As a fan of Walsh's work, I wondered if this topic would compromise her former prowess in weaving dark, fearless tales of the subterranean. This novel is amazing. As one can expect with Walsh's writing, I was initiated from the first page. What follows is a helter skelter ride into the recesses of mental and emotional exhaustion. Rachel, our protagonist, gives us an unflinching confessional of her own limitations. Her love for her baby son, Joe, urges her on, yet, isolated and intimidated by the demands of early motherhood, I found myself speeding through each chapter.
Walsh's unique voice is never compromised. Brave, bold and beautiful, this story unmistakably belongs to the Walsh canon. If you have yet to discover her work, you are in for a revelation. Walsh lends authenticity to relevant, commercial matter with a sharp, insightful gaze and a literary talent which is a pleasure to read.
Most importantly, Walsh has broken down the barricades surrounding preconceived notions of motherhood. An honest, unflinching account which lends voice to legions of new mothers who desperately need to be heard. In a culture which measures post-natal success by the size of it's skinny jeans, Walsh has once again succeeded in presenting us with an original and intelligent counterpoint. Another triumph. Thank you, Ms. Walsh!