The Sleepwalker: A Novel by Chris Bohjalian

Setting: Vermont
Genre: General Fiction/Women's Fiction/Mystery
Publisher: Doubleday
Release Date: January 10, 2017

Late at night while her daughters sleep, Annalee Ahlberg vanishes. The wife and mother is a sleepwalker who's been known to take unusual risks while sleepwalking. Her daughters hope she's alive, but as weeks and months pass, even they start to lose hope that they'll see her again. The only clue is a scrap of her nightshirt found near a local river. No body's been found and there's been no trace of her since she went to bed.

Lianna, the oldest daughter, takes a leave of absence from her college studies to help her father with her younger sister Paige. As their father drifts farther and farther into his work and nightcaps, the girls struggle to come to terms with what happens. Lianna finds herself drawn to the older detective investigating the case. He knew her mother and is just as convinced that Annalee never would have willingly walked away. Lianna is determined to unravel events leading up to the last time anyone saw Annalee and discover the truth.

The Sleepwalker: A Novel takes a close look at sleepwalking. It's written from Lianna's point of view, and readers become privy to information as she learns it. It keeps you involved in the case and dying to know what really happened.

I love books set in Vermont. Chris Bohjalian has been a writer for a long time, so I'm well familiar with his books and the newspaper column he used to do. He captures Vermont perfectly, and it's always fun knowing exactly where he's writing about. That remains true in The Sleepwalker. Trips to Burlington, up to Montreal, it's all common ground to me. I love that and hope other readers understand that he's capturing the locations perfectly.

Sleepwalking is something I'm less familiar with. There's more to simply wandering around while asleep, so I learned a bit as I read this book. Still, it's the characters that will stay with me this time. Lianna was the ideal narrator, as she learned more about sleepwalking, I enjoyed learning along with her.


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