Top positive review
9 of 9 people found this helpful
Stylish and Chilling
on 24 November 2005
Sleepwalking is an unforgettable and tension filled book. It drew me in and held my interest completely from the first page to the last. The plot is relatively simple, but it is the actions of the characters and the fascinating revelations of their pasts that really holds the reader.
I found Susan to be a very likeable character. She is mixed up, damaged by her childhood and in a marriage with a man who she feels less and less connected to as the years go by. On top of this is the fact that she is pregnant and feels as though her body is being taken over. The novel is beautifully written and the simple economy of language stunned me in places because it was so emotive. The affair between Susan and Lenny was very believable and the closeness they felt together was transmitted perfectly onto the page.
The Publishers Weekly review above really does the book an injustice. Yes, Susan has an affair while she is pregnant but she does not do it callously - she is afraid and almost near breakdown. I would not describe her husband as either particularly decent or likeable, although he does stand by Susan. To me he came across as one of those stern, `put every problem a woman has down to hormones' type of man who wasn't interested in listening to Susan or talking about her problems. He didn't even want to discuss her art, which was her passion.
The flashbacks to Susan's father's early life were wonderful and the character of Queenie was scary without being over the top. The problems that Susan encounters with her own sisters and mother over an inheritance are very realistic and show how you can be related to someone and still have no clue as to why they are behaving in a particular way. The only drawback of this book is that it seemed quite short, which would have been fine but the ending was a bit sudden and not as satisfying as I'd hoped. But that, I suppose, is what life is often like.