Title: Sleepwalking in Daylight
Author: Elizabeth Flock
Release Date: February 24, 2009
Publisher: Mira Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Teen
Rating: 4 out of 5
From the dust jacket:
Once defined by her career and independence, stay-at-home mom Samantha Friedman finds that her days have been reduced to errands, car pools and suburban gossip. What was an easy decision for Sam years ago has become a nagging awareness that this life was her choice. Now she deals with a husband who shows up for dinner but is too preoccupied for conversation, and a daughter swathed in black clothing and Goth makeup who won’t talk at all.
Believing she’s an adopted mistake, seventeen-year-old Cammy has fallen into sex and drugs and pours herself into a journal filled with poetry and pain. On parallel paths, mother and daughter indulge in desperate, furtive escapism—for Sam, a heady affair with her supposed soul mate, fueled by clandestine coffee dates and the desire to feel something; for Cammy, a secretive search for her birth mother punctuated by pills, pot and the need to feel absolutely nothing.
I’m not sure what genre to put Sleepwalking in Daylight in. On one hand, part of the book is told from seventeen-year-old Cammy’s point of view – that makes me think this is a teen read. But Samantha’s story is so compelling, so gripping, that it makes me want to label it women’s fiction. This is a book that transcends genres and makes you redefine your labeling system.
The title Sleepwalking in Daylight seems to refer to Samantha much more than Cammy, which makes me feel like Samantha is the main character of the book. She’s basically sleepwalking through life, going through all the motions. She doesn’t find joy in anything anymore because there isn’t really anything to feel happy about. She loves her children, but it’s just not enough for her anymore. She has lost any sort of connection with her husband. I feel like a lot of middle-aged women go through the same thing as Samantha does; they question their lives, whether they have accomplished anything. Samantha is very well-written and easy to sympathize with, even if you are not at the same place in life as she is.
Cammy is a little more difficult. I definitely understand her feelings of inadequacy, especially after her father told her about her adoption in a ridiculously insensitive manner. However, she also frustrated me. I sympathized much more with Samantha than with Cammy; I just wanted Cammy to open up to her mother. Maybe not about everything, but about her feelings that her parents walk on eggshells around her and aren’t as easy with her as they are with her brothers. Of course, it’s probably unrealistic to believe that a teenage girl will open up to her mom about her issues, but still, it doesn’t keep me from wishing!
Sleepwalking in Daylight is a well-written novel that is an intimate look at one woman’s life and that of her estranged teenage daughter. The ending is very unexpected, and I’m not sure if that’s good or not. Either way, I recommend this book though!
Thank you to Anna at FSB Associates for sending me this book to review!