Are You Sleeping

Are You SleepingAre You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber
Published by Gallery Books on August 1st 2017
Pages: 336
ISBN: 1501157663
Buy on Amazon

This book pissed me off!! It seriously did. I finished it two days ago but can’t stop thinking about it.

Josie is happily living in New York with her boyfriend, Caleb who is an international aide worker. While Caleb is out of town, Josie’s carefully constructed life begins to fall apart. A journalist by the name of Poppy Parnell has been discussing the murder of Josie’s father on her podcasts. A young man by the name of Warren Cave was convicted of her father’s murder, but Journalist Parnell believes Cave’s assertion┬áthat he is innocent. To make matters even more upsetting, Josie receives a phone call from her cousin, Ellen telling her that her Mother is dead and that she will have to return home for the funeral.

The problem? Well, there are several. Josie has lied to her boyfriend about her past. A past that Josie wanted to keep hidden, she even went so far as to have her last name legally changed. Caleb has no idea that her father was murdered or that after his murder, her Mother abandoned her and her twin sister, to join a cult. He believes that both of her parents are dead and that she was raised by her Aunt Amelia. When Caleb returns home, Josie again lies to him and tells him her Aunt Amelia died and she needs to return home for the funeral.

Another problem? Josie’s twin sister, Laine. Josie has not seen her twin sister after she betrayed Josie years earlier. Josie knows nothing of her sister’s life and wants to keep it that way but unfortunately, the past rears it’s ugly head when Josie returns home and learns not only is Lanie married (to Josie’s high school boyfriend) but they have a child together. Can you guess what the betrayal was?

Confronting the past and dealing with the present are difficult enough by Poppy Parnell is still investigating the murder and trying to find out what really happened the night in question. The continued podcasts and attempts at gaining an interview are stressful and only serve to create more drama. Then Caleb, trying to be a loving and supportive boyfriend, shows up to be a support for Josie only to learn that she has lied to him about her past and who she is.

Lanie, Josie’s twin sister, was not a very likable character for me. After betraying her sister when they were younger, I thought it was disgusting that she tried to confuse Caleb by pretending to be Josie. Plus, she has mood swings and has a penchant for throwing things at people’s heads (lasagna, pitcher) Also, she is a terrible mother. In a way, she is very similar to her own Mother. She forgets to pack her daughter lunch, forgets to pick her up from school and even sends her on an “adventure” where the child talks the mail main into driving her somewhere. Boy, the mandated reported in me wanted to report her for neglect.

This story is told narrative, twitter messages, reddit threads, the podcast and comments from listeners to the podcast. If Warren Cave did not murder Josie and Lanie’s father then who did? Plus, Lanie testified that she saw Warren being shot..was she telling the truth? If Warren is as innocent as he and his Mother claim…then who is the killer? Why would Lanie say she saw him shoot her father if he didn’t do it?

This book was addictive and I could not read it fast enough. In the end we learn the truth and it was not so much of a stretch and explained a lot of strange behaviors. I really liked the characters in this book. I enjoyed Josie. I felt for her for most of the book. Although I did find it a little extreme that she changed her name and did not tell the truth about her life, I can appreciate her reasons for doing so. She never thought she would see Caleb again when she first told him both of her parents were dead. Once you start down a path of lies is it easier to keep walking along that path or do you come clean with the truth?

Speaking of the truth..if you question what you saw or what you believe you saw, shouldn’t you tell the truth about that? How do you live with yourself and your actions when you know you are wrong? This book is about many things: dysfunctional families, sibling relationships, betrayal, lies, grief, moving on and finding the truth. This book had some twists and turns which kept the pace moving and things interesting. What pissed me off – the betrayal, the “sudden” remembering of events from the past. I kept thinking seriously?????? Is she just remembering now or does she HAVE to remember because there is a journalist investigating the murder so either “remember” or have the journalist bring things out in the open? The sudden remembering was a little too quick for me but overall a very enjoyable read that left me thinking about it for days.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the Publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.