Saturday, December 1, 2012

Audiobook Review: While My Sister Sleeps by Barbara Delinsky

While My Sister Sleeps
Author: Barbara Delinsky
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell
Published: February 17, 2009
Genre: chick lit
Audiobook: 9 discs (approx. 11 hours)
Source: borrowed from the library

My Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis (from GoodReads): Molly and Robin Snow are sisters, and like all sisters they share a deep bond that sustains them through good times and bad. Their careers are flourishing-Molly is a horticulturist and Robin is a world-class runner-and they are in the prime of their lives. So when Molly receives the news that Robin has suffered a massive heart attack, she couldn't be more shocked. At the hospital, the Snow family receives a grim prognosis: Robin may never regain consciousness. 
As Robin's parents and siblings struggle to cope, the complex nature of their relationship is put to the ultimate test. Molly has always lived in Robin's shadow, and her feelings for her have run the gamut, from love to resentment and back. The last time they spoke, they argued. But now there is so much more at stake. Molly's parents fold under the devastating circumstances, and her brother retreats into the cool reserve that is shattering his own family. It's up to Molly to make the tough decisions, and she soon makes discoveries that destroy some of her most cherished beliefs about the sister she thought she knew.

My Thoughts: I typically enjoy Barbara Delinsky's work and find her take on an idea to be interesting. She tailors her writing to women but there are so many points in her story where it could also resonate with a man. This story is no different. A woman, Robin, a celebrated marathon runner, has a sudden heart attack. She suffers brain damage and her family is left with some difficult decisions. There are her parents, saddened at the thought of losing a child. Her brother who is coping with difficulties in his own marriage and unsure of how to approach the situation with Robin. Then there is Molly, who has always looked up to Robin and wants to do what is what Robin would want. There are lots of family secrets uncovered in this novel and Delinsky writes so that it never seems unfathomable. She finds the perfect balance in surprising you but not overwhelming you or taking you out of a situation that could happen to any of us.

One of the things that I admire most about Delinsky's books is her ability to craft real characters. Molly is so realistic that you cannot help but feel for her. She is upset by what happened to her sister yet she tries to do what her sister would want to happen. She is the only one in her family who does this, who is being selfless and trying to do what is best by Robin. Their mother, Kathrine, is also very real. I could understand her actions and did not find it hard to believe that any mother would not behave and think in this way. I also really enjoyed the narration in this book. I really enjoy Cassandra Campbell and think she's a great narrator and this book was just another example of how great she is at narrating.

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