When Elizabeth Flock wrote Sleepwalking in Daylight, she decided on a topic which she thought would have a long lasting appeal. Specifically, the result of what happens to women who discover after many years of marriage that they are not happy. Throw children into the mix, and the perspective is a common one.
Samantha Friedman has been with her husband long enough to know he is not solely what she desires. Hence, the attempts at baby making. Does it work? Not exactly. All it brings is heartbreak about the failure of in vitro fertilization to bring the desired results. Rather than give up, a new course of action is decided upon. They will become parents by adoption.
Cammy just might be more than what they bargained for, even if they only became parents by taking her into their lives. Raising a child is difficult. When the future offspring has developmental issues, the situation simply becomes much more complicated.
Flock wisely breaks up this story into two distinct parts. It alternates between Samantha and Cammy so a change of perspective is never far away. My only issue with this comes from having Cammy's parts occasionally too short. A page or two does not really seem to show readers what she is going through. Each section, however, is written in the first person, which is like having a glimpse into a character's life as shared by the person herself.
This story would not be a page-turner without some layers of depth. Samantha seeks a way out of her troubled marriage by forming a relationship with Craig, whom she meets on the train one day. The resulting conversation would not be so bad, but each has a desperation which is a blind spot to a potential danger. Readers will probably see the outcome a long time before it hits, but they should keep turning pages anyway. Craig plays a bigger part in Samantha's story than is first realized.
Cammy has her own issues. Going through the teenage years is never easy, but there is more to her struggles than typical angst. Adding to the problems is an unfortunate comment made by Cammy's adoptive father. He might not have meant it the way it comes out, but some things should be left unspoken. All they do is cause more pain.
Readers should be warned about the length of this novel. Over 400 pages long, it is perhaps better left for a summer vacation where one can turn pages at leisure. This will more than likely not be completed in one sitting.
For the most part, this isn't a bad book. Long? Very. It is written to appeal to women who wake up one day and figure out they have not exactly lived their lives to the fullest. Oprah would enjoy this book.Powered by Sidelines