REVIEW: WHILE MY SISTER SLEEPS BY BARBARA DELINSKY
Updated: Nov 18, 2018
An Unusual Genre for me
I’m not one for stories about family crises. I read about rebels overthrowing fictional governments. I buy books about genetic engineering. Sometimes I even read the odd space opera. My favorite show at the moment, The Rain, includes elements of family crisis but is primarily a coming of age story framed by infectious rainwater.
Books about possible real-life tragedies aren’t my cup of tea.
However, when my mother recommended While My Sister Sleeps by Barbara Delinsky and gave away 75% of the book in the process, I still knew I had to read it for myself.
Without giving away too much, the novel focuses on a family’s decision about how to handle adult runner Robin, who has had a heart attack mid-run and been declared braindead. Each family member holds their secrets and has their own issues to contend with in addition to the medical tragedy.
Barbara Delinsky writes novels about events that could happen in the real world, rare dilemmas that families actually have to face. Robin is braindead, but the world hasn’t stopped turning.
The author created an emotional world with believable characters. The family dynamics seemed realistic and Delinsky gave each character challenges to work through aside from Robin’s accident. Impressively, she made Robin feel present despite her being in a coma for most of the story.
Although I wish she would have paid more attention to characters like Robin’s father and Chris, that feeling only came because I found they were already interesting characters with potential.
The last forty pages or so got a little wet with tears. The book wasn’t all doom and gloom despite the subject matter, though.
It was my first time reading a book by Delinsky and I’d definitely read another book by this author.
While My Sister Sleeps is an easy read, but it took me about four months to complete. I’ve been in deep with my own medical issue and working on my next novel.
I’m roughly 50,000 words in and preparing for “The End” by mid-summer – a MUCH faster turnaround than with my first novel and a lot more dedication all around.
I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone looking to read a story with characters that jump off the page.
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