While My Sister Sleeps
Doubleday, Feb 2009, $25.95
Olympic level marathoner egotistical Robin Snow and her less athletic younger sister Molly the horticulturist do not get along for the most part though they share a sisterly bond especially when things go bad for one of them. Molly resents her older sibling’s fame and accompanied gloating haughtiness so refuses to run with Robin as she trains. When Robin running alone suffers a heart attack that leaves her comatose, Molly feels guilty for not being there for her.
As Robin’s health worsens, Molly’s feelings of guilt rise in a negative correlation. Other family members like their brother Chris and their parents Charlie and Kathryn fail to cope with the increasingly ominous situation; Chris has a personal problem while Kathryn is in denial and Charlie turns to religion. Thus every critical decision falls on Molly’s overly burdened shoulders as the doctor begins to believe Robin will never wake up.
Fans of Barbara Delinsky will enjoy this angst-laden character driven family drama that looks deep into relationships mostly between siblings. Although the well written story line is extremely passive (which makes sense since one of the key characters is in a coma) and at times over burdened with too much personal torment that borders on hyperbolic emoting, WHILE MY SISTER SLEEPS deeply showcases how people react differently to an unexpected health crisis.