While I Was Sleeping by Dani Atkins
Best for: Those who enjoy Liane Moriarty’s work; those who like stories told from multiple perspectives and that jump back and forth in time.
In a nutshell: Maggie is 14 weeks pregnant and getting married in four days. She is hit by a car and falls into a coma. When she wakes up, she thinks she’s been out for seven weeks. It’s been … a bit longer.
“ ‘Aren’t you fed up with books after working here all day?’ Her question was so alien she might as well have asked if I was fed up with breathing. I lived for books.
Why I chose it:
I think the name caught my eye (I am a big fan of “While You Were Sleeping”), and then once I read the first few pages, I was like “yup.”
I don’t know about you, but when I fly, I bring a bunch of books but often get so antsy that I end up watching a movie. Not this time. I started reading this book on a flight to Iceland last week, and ended up finishing it up a couple of days later, despite the fact that it is 560 pages long. It was just that compelling. As I said above, if you like the Liane Moriarty-style books, I think you’ll like this (though it doesn’t have any murdery bits). My review requires revealing some things that you’ll find out in the first quarter of the book, but because I loved discovering them, I’ll leave them to the bigger review below.
*Minor Spoilers Below*
Maggie has been in a coma for six years. SIX YEARS. Yikes. Her fiance is married to someone else, and he has a kid.
Correction: THEY have a kid.
The story follows how Maggie, Chloe (the new wife) and … the husband, whose name I’ve forgotten (I left the book at my hotel in Iceland so others could enjoy it). The entire first bit is from Maggie’s perspective. So you really get to be on her side. You understand how her fiance (I want to say … Rick? Richard?) would eventually move on, but still, you also know that for her, she is not at all removed from the days when she was about to marry the love of her life.
But then, we get things from Chloe’s perspective. We learn how she came into Maggie and … Ryan’s? … lives, and eventually fell in love with Maggie’s fiance. And it becomes harder to root for or against anyone. Everyone is sympathetic, everyone is doing their best.
I enjoyed this one a lot, and will be seeking out more by Ms. Atkins.