ISBN #: 978-1479194636
Page Count: 206
Copyright: September 17, 2012
(Taken from back cover)
Gillian has always encompassed the vast space between pretty and ugly. In fact, she is painfully aware that there is nothing remarkable about her, until her husband Ricky experiences a mysterious fall that leaves him in a comatose state. As doctors and nurses rush to assure her that Ricky will recover well, Gillian thinks of the years of cold silence and manipulation that have overshadowed their marriage.
As the coma persists, Gillian dreams of a different life, one her marriage has denied her, and hopes Ricky does not wake up. Nonetheless, his eyes open to reveal a man who claims to remember nothing of his former self. Gillian, convinced that this is only a furthering of his past cruelty, seeks to test this new Ricky. She invents a family they never had, and fills his head with stories of an imaginary life. Ricky becomes a father, and an orphan, eagerly accepting magazine-clipped photos and an urn filled with cigarette ash as evidence of his once-happy life.
But, as Ricky persists in his assertion that he remembers nothing of their real past, Gillian begins to question how far she can go in punishing a man for sins he cannot remember committing.
After years in a broken marriage, Gillian sits beside the bed of her comatose husband, Ricky by day, and luxuriates in the bliss of being free of him at night. Hoping he might never awaken, Gillian plans a future on her own terms. When he suddenly comes back from his coma, Gillian is caught off guard, and worries he is faking his amnesia to get back at her for his accident. She fills his mind with stories of a life they never had, but as things progress, and Ricky returns home, Gillian's plan, and stability, starts to unravel.
Umm, wow, okay?! This book is a spiraling mess of deception, and a study on the effects of dysfunction in families. We meet Gillian as an adult, but glimpses into her past show us a family that covered up secrets and modeled conditional love. Faced with that, and a lost sister, Gillian ends up pregnant and married, only to lose the baby, and endure a long, unhappy marriage.
I was, at first, identifying strongly with Gillian, but after Ricky wakes up, and some of his past is uncovered, things quickly got muddled. With a haunting storyline, Don't Wake Up makes you question how well you can truly know a person, as well as how truly you can know yourself. 5 out of 5 stars! I wholeheartedly recommend this book!
*A paperback copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.