Friday, February 28, 2014

The Innocent Sleep: A Novel by Karen Perry

Release Date: February 18, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

After experiencing the devastating loss of a child in the midst of an earthquake in Tangier, Harry and Robin moved back to her native Dublin in order to rebuild their lives. Five years later their lives were turned upside down as Harry uncovered clues that their son might still be alive. He kept these secret until he could be absolutely certain it was the truth.

In the midst of Harry's plight, Robin found herself struggling with her own unexpected discovery. Soon each began to crack under the weight of their secrets and lies, leading to explosive revelations being laid bare. Can their marriage survive the layers of hurt, betrayal and deceit? Will they know the truth once and for all about the earthquake?

This title was available for review at NetGalley. Upon reading the description, I requested the book and was approved. I was intrigued by the description but the book itself turned out to be so much more than the sample hinted. The book wasn't one of those where the story began slow, gearing up to a climax and then dropped off into a neat conclusion, complete with a bow. No, this story kept its quick, steady pace from the end of the very first paragraph. I admit, it took a little getting used to the way the story would flip between Harry's and Robin's perspectives but having their names at the beginning of their chapters helped a great deal.

As mentioned above, the story was centered around a married couple which must deal with the horrible reality of losing a child and the unimaginable task of rebuilding their lives afterward. Neither of the main characters were completely honest with the other from the beginning. Instead, they began weaving such a web of lies and betrayal that leads the reader to wonder what else will be revealed at the end of each chapter. There was a sharpness, barely disguised angry edge, to many of the couple's interactions. At times I felt like an awkward bystander witnessing the disintegration of their marriage. These flaws and realistic reactions helped to make the characters seem real to me.

Even a revelation that should have been met with happiness, joy and wonder was tarnished by their past. I was sincerely worried for both of the main characters at different points in the story. One was slowly coming unhinged as the other was left alone to stew in their own thoughts and worries. As I read a third of the book, I was completely engrossed in their lives, both past and present paths, and couldn't put the book down. I had to know what was going to happen next. As the truth became clearer, I grew hungrier for the next grain of truth, the next revelation.

The ending was not what I expected. I have read plenty of books with flawed characters, mysteries and twisted endings. But this was one that I hadn't seen coming. It was most definitely a pleasure to read though my heart was hurting for the ones dealing with everything in the end. Overall, I found the book to be very engaging and quite good at keeping my attention throughout the course of the story. If you're looking for a wild, emotional ride and an in-depth look at the destruction lies, grief and betrayal are capable of, I would recommend this book.

The Innocent Sleep: A Novel by Karen Perry is available at many online retailers in either hardcover or Kindle formats. You can purchase a copy by clicking the link provided below.
The Innocent Sleep: A Novel by Karen Perry

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