A breathtaking, heart-pounding, dark debut, sure to delight fans of The Girl on the Train and Before I Go To Sleep.
When Anna, a much-loved teacher and mother of two, is left savagely beaten and in a coma, a police investigation is launched. News of the attack sends shock waves through her family and their small Swedish community. Anna seems to have had no enemies, so who wanted her dead?
As loved-ones wait anxiously by her bedside, her husband Erik is determined to get to the bottom of the attack, and soon begins uncovering his wife’s secret life, and a small town riven with desire, betrayal and jealousy.
As the list of suspects grows longer, it soon becomes clear that only one person can reveal the truth, and she’s lying silent in a hospital bed…
What does TWG think?
Imagine this; everything in your life seems to be going swimmingly, you have two children and a husband. You love your job, but unfortunately your husband doesn’t seem to love your job quite as much as you. Despite the minor hiccough, your life is just so, nothing really to complain about.
Still with me?
Now imagine this; all of a sudden, the rug from your ‘normal’ life gets pulled out from under you, you’re brutally attacked and left for dead. Something doesn’t quite add up really, does it?
But all of the above is Anna’s life, how did it go from normal to nearly ended, all in the matter of moments?
‘When I Wake Up’ is told via multiple characters across various time scales, predominantly in the past. For me, those types of storylines are a bit hit and miss because in one book the multiple viewpoints may work brilliantly, yet in other books I may struggle to keep up and find myself confused. Unfortunately, this book was the latter. I struggled to get to grips with all of the various characters and the parts they played in the storyline, which in turn made it harder for me to connect all of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle.
That said, the ‘whodunnit?’ factor was incredibly intense, making it harder (in a good way) to pinpoint which character had actually done the deed, if any. Each character made me go ‘hmmm’ with their involvement, but I couldn’t work out who it was at all. I loved how the author managed to interlink each character and their lifestyles, whilst keeping the suspense level up to its full potential.
Some parts of the storyline weren’t for me, I’ll be honest. I didn’t know where they seemed to fit with the overall theme of the book as I thoroughly enjoyed all of the secretive, and gripping parts. Too much duplication amongst characters viewpoints.
Overall, ‘When I Wake Up’ kept me engrossed, entertained, and determined to find out what happened to Anna, and why. For me, the chase of the storyline was the best part.
Thanks Aria Fiction.
Born in Sweden, Jessica moved to London at the age of 18 to obtain a BSc Hons degree in Publishing and Business. She worked in publishing in the UK for a number of years before heading to Chicago where she edited a magazine for expats. Back in Sweden, she completed a Masters in Creative Writing. Since 2010, Jessica has taught journalism and media at a local university, and has spent the last five years as the marketing and PR manager for a British firm. Last year, she was one of the winners in the Montegrappa Prize for First Fiction at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. Jessica is married with three spirited children, and although she’s known for her positivity, her writing tends to be rather dark!