Title: While I Was Sleeping
Author: Dani Atkins
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Date of Publication: 23rd August 2018
Date of Review: 20th August 2018
What if someone else was living your happy ever after?
When Maddie wakes up in a hospital bed, she can’t remember anything about what happened to her or what has changed.
She just remembers she was about to be married and had everything to look forward to.
But it seems life has become a lot more complicated while she has been asleep …
Maddie has everything to live for: loving parents, a gorgeous fiancé who adores her, and a baby on the way. The icing on the cake is her fairy tale wedding which is just a few days away. But when she believes she is being followed she makes a decision that has devastating consequences and when she wakes from a coma nothing is as she remembers.
In contrast, with no family of her own, Chloe leads a solitary life. The only thing she has to look forward to is her job at the library and the volunteer work she does at the local hospital.
This is the first novel I’ve read by this author and had an open mind as to its genre. I knew love was a theme running through the story but with its initial fast paced narrative which sees Maddie trying to escape from somebody she believes to be stalking her, I visualised the narrative going down the domestic noir route. But I was wrong.
The novel is structured around a dual first-person narrative from both Maddie and Chloe’s perspectives. When Maddie wakes from a coma the plot twists come thick and fast and foreshadows the grief and anguish to follow. However, as the story progresses, the pacing slows down and moves to a more literary style. Although not a lot happens during this part, I was still hooked by the author’s all-consuming style of writing. The story picks up when Chloe takes over as the narrator. Prior to this, Chloe had been cast as the antagonist; but with her own sad story to tell it’s easier to empathise with her. Although to be honest, my loyalty as a reader was with Maddie throughout.
As the lives of these two women intertwine their lives become more and more complicated. But whilst Maddie and Chloe should be enemies, this is an uplifting story of compassion and friendship where jealousy and insecurities are forced to one side as they work together to overcome adversity for the sake of the person who they both love more than anything in the world.
Under Literature Love’s rating scheme, this book has been awarded 5 out of 5 stars for its genre. This means:
I absolutely loved this book and couldn’t put it down.
I recommend you stop what you’re doing and go and buy this book now!
Thank you to Simon & Schuster UK for an Advance Review Copy of this book.