Review: I Do Not Sleep by Judy Finnigan

Wednesday 27 May 2015
Title: I Do Not Sleep
Author: Judy Finnigan
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 18th June 2015
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9780751548655
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
There is nothing more powerful than a mother's love.

Five years ago, Molly Gabriel lost her twenty-year-old son, Joey, to a terrible sailing accident. His empty boat was washed ashore on the rocks - but his body was never found.

Now, Molly has returned to the sands of Cornwall haunted by his disappearance, unable to accept he is gone. Joey was an experienced sailor and died on a calm sea - things just don't add up and Molly cannot let it go. Desperate for answers, she turns to Joey's best friend, Ben, to go back to what really happened that day...

Richard and Judy are two of our biggest champions of books in the UK, and I always look forward to their book club picks. I remember when they released their first novels, I was intrigued as to whether they would be any good. I received Richard Madeley's The Way You Look Tonight to review last year, and as you can see from that review, I was pleasantly surprised. Having now finished Judy's second novel, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Molly Gabriel and her family are returning to Cornwall, five years after the devastating disappearance of her son, Joey, his body never found, assumed dead. Molly has never been able to accept he is gone, and remains haunted by his disappearance. Turning to her son's best friend, she is determined to find out what really happened five years ago. Judy has captured her setting beautifully, using it as the perfect backdrop to tell this story. On the one hand the sheer beauty of Cornwall is evident on the page, but at the same time due to the at times heartbreaking nature of the plot, the real danger of Cornwall's waters was evident, creating a really atmospheric read in places. In one picture it can be calm and tranquil, another, dark and dangerous. Judy's descriptions really helped me to picture the setting in my mind quite vividly.

I Do Not Sleep is somewhat of a powerful read in places. The heartrending grief that Molly feels is palpable, as is her fierce insistence, her need to find answers to her son's disappearance. Her reluctance to fully accept that he is dead until a body is found. A mother's love is incredibly strong, and Judy completely conveyed to the reader how this made Molly feel. It was a bit of an emotional read in places. The feelings of the characters were both believable and realistic, not just from Molly but the various family members that are grieving also. I think most of us are guilty of taking loved ones for granted, this book perhaps reminded me to try and do that a little less.

I had a couple of scenarios playing out in my head, and I imagine had this been more of a psychological thriller then my ideas would probably have played out. Instead what we have here is a quite sad story in places, but oddly at the same time an uplifting one. As always it's difficult to elaborate without giving the story away, but towards the end it is all wrapped up, the story comes together and there's a wonderful little twist before the final conclusion. Overall I highly recommend this book, and will definitely be checking out Judy's first book, Eloise, as well as keeping a keen eye out for what she writes next.


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