Sleep Sister by Laura Elliot

I had mixed feelings about this book, although ultimately I think it was a good read.
The basic plot revolves around Beth and the sexual abuse she experiences at the hands of her Uncle Albert from a young child, until she finally left home in her teens to go and live with her estranged father. The repercussions of this abuse echo down the years and affect her family, her relationships and her marriage, and continue on into the next generation.
Beth’s anger as she carries her secret burden is great, as is her guilt at her sister’s suffering in her absence and she is determined to take revenge on Uncle Albert who, throughout the book is presented as fine upstanding member of the community, a successful businessman, a loved and loving family member, a politician and a councillor with his constituents’ best interests at the heart of his work. As the readers, only we are privy to Beth’s secret, while those around her wonder at her hatred of this man who surely deserves her respect for the financial support he has provided for her family.
Although I did enjoy the book and the very worthy plot, I did find the writing style was just a little out of focus, making the multitude of characters and the complexities of their relationships sometimes blurred and difficult to follow. At times I found myself reading and just about hanging on to who was who, where they fitted in and what was happening, while hoping that all would become clearer if I continued as I was.
Despite this the story had enough of a ‘pull’ to keep me reading to the end and I did enjoy it, awarding it three stars.

 

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