The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian

I love Bohjalian’s storytelling and this book was no different. It tells the story of family struggling to keep themselves together after the unexpected disappearance of the mother, who was a sleepwalker and who left their house one night and never returned. While the police attempt to locate her, the eldest daughter takes over her role as caretaker of the family, trying to keep her father and younger sister from feeling the loss quite as much. While the father turns to alcohol the sisters each investigate the disappearance of their mother on their own, leading to some startling discoveries.

Bohjalian’s writing is gorgeous and the voices of the girls are both very authentic and believable, especially that of Lianna. This book is billed as a thriller but in reality it’s a slow burn. The book was believable and the insight into life as and with a parasomniac was fascinating. I liked that the characters were written as real people who had a sleeping disorder rather than their entire existence being about their disorder. I didn’t at all see the ending coming which was also a nice change of pace – nothing felt forced and all the details leading up to the end were dropped into the story with such subtly that you don’t even notice them until the story comes together at the end.

What to Drink: I recommend a cozy cup of tea or a glass of warm milk to help you fall asleep, because this book certainly isn’t going to.

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