The Sleeper by Emily Barr – Published by Headline Review, 2013
(Copy of book recommended and kindly supplied by Elizabeth Haynes, interviewed for Roseland online last month.)
The central character is Lara, a woman with a secret or two, both in her past and in the present.
She tries hard to love her happy life in Cornwall, but yearns to escape both the place and her husband. When she does, it’s not why she’d expected to or how the reader imagines. She gets on the train at Paddington for her usual Friday night trip home, but she never gets off. Why? Where? How?
But Lara’s not the only one with secrets. There’s her friend Iris; why doesn’t her partner want to meet people or go anywhere? Is he really a recluse? Why is Lara’s relationship with her family so fractured?
Intriguing, multi-layered and atmospheric… although, having said that, I’m miffed that no-one ever asked me to join their table for a Friday night gin and tonic. Also, I’m unlikely to get a good night’s sleep on the journey for some time to come!