Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Review: The Innocent Sleep by Karen Perry

The Innocent Sleep by Karen Perry is the story of a young family who's trying to repair their lives after a devastating earthquake that costs them the life of their 3 year old son, Dillon. Harry leaves his son alone, sleeping, in an effort to get one last trinket for his wife Robin's birthday. During the time he is away, an earthquake occurs and leaves in its wake a depth far greater than the destruction of a building.

Five years later after the catastrophe, Harry is sure that in the midst of a rally, he has spotted their son. Because there was no body found, he is sure that just maybe his son has been alive the entire time. Along with the hope of his son being alive comes the chance of redemption. Suddenly, the true events of that fateful night surface where this couple are no longer able to lie and must confront the truth of their lives.

Long story short: I really enjoyed this book. Karen Perry gives readers complete characters who have a depth that often lacks in novels suggested as being thrillers or suspense. FYI, I don't think this novel is suspense in the sense that most readers expect, but the whole mystery surrounding the death of Dillon is what offers a sense of tension that is palpable throughout the whole text. 

Harry, in my opinion, was given the most depth. Essentially, he has more to work with sense his careless actions are really what jump starts the plot. He is constantly battling the guilt of leaving his son alone and it is only during these times that we are able to actually rally behind him. Generally, it's hard getting past his initial actions but slowly, the layers peel away and he becomes someone to feel sorry for and wish the best for. 

The novel is told in alternating narratives featuring Harry and Robin. At times I almost felt that they were too aware of self. They didn't seem to be regular people dealing with life after such a devastating loss. Their speech is often times too poetic to seem authentic but rather a good author speaking through her characters. I'm kinda at odds with this approach since it's obvious Perry has some outstanding writing chops. It may have seemed more fluid and believable if The Innocent Sleep was told from a 3rd person view instead of the 1st person narrative.

Essentially, I can't help but stress how much I enjoyed The Innocent Sleep. Karen Perry writes an engrossing tale of life after. "Life after" essentially is how many of us categorize our lives after dealing with a huge loss that can never be repaired. She explores how sometimes the smallest lie, or the simplest action, can forever change our lives. I am happy to have had the opportunity to take this journey with these characters and look forward to reading more by this author.  ****

Copy provided by Henry Holt and Company via Netgalley

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