Two reviews to post in one day. Who am I?! This may come as a shock, but I have very little to report since my last post. We had a visitor. I pottered around. We ate dinner. And here I am. So I’ll just get on with it.
Thank you to @HarperCollinsUK and @SarahPinborough for this advanced audio copy of Insomnia in return for an honest review. Insomnia was published on 31st March 2022 and you can get a copy here.
Emma Averell didn’t have the easiest of starts to life. She and her sister were placed in foster care when they were young on the back of a horrific incident with their mother. As the youngest of the siblings, Emma doesn’t remember a time when she had a loving and caring mother, she only remembers her as a monster. As Emma approaches forty (the same age her mother was at the time of the incident) is there a risk that she may suffer from the same condition?
Emma is in a slightly different position as she has a very successful career, two beautiful children and a stay at home husband. She has always kept them in the dark about her past, but as the big 4-0 looms, Emma starts to lose sleep and chunks of time out of her day when she has no idea what’s happened. Could her mother have been right and is the madness in her blood?
General Thoughts 🤔
This book had me hooked. From the very first couple of chapters, I was engrossed in the story and wanted to know what was happening, why it was happening and how it was going to end. This was definitely fast paced and there’s a lot that goes on but it was exactly that which kept it exciting for me.
Throughout the book the tension was building for some kind of huge twist/revelation at the end (which I love in a book) and I was frustrating myself trying to guess what it might be. I didn’t guess right, I’ll admit it. I’ll give myself half a point. I did not see it coming and I think as long as you just lean into this story and go with it, you won’t see it coming either.
Some of the characters did annoy me a touch, but I couldn’t tell if that was intentional or not. Robert (the husband) grated on me the worst I think. He seemed very wishy washy to me and I wanted him to step up and protect his family. Everything that he did seemed like too little too late in my opinion.
Emma was a really likeable character and I felt like her frustration was my frustration. Losing my mind is probably up there as one of my biggest fears and I would bet against myself being able to cope like Emma did. Despite everything she was going through, she was still soldiering on, trying to hold her crumbling family together. I felt quite proud of her for juggling everything but I also felt an overwhelming sadness for her.
Writing Style ✍️
I haven’t read a Sarah Pinborough book before but having looked at Goodreads I now realise I have been living under a rock and should probably read Behind Her Eyes. I really enjoyed her writing style. She was able to tell a riveting story without leaving me feeling like I had missed any important detail. At no point was I dragged along with this story, I was on the journey along with the characters.
The narrator for Insomnia did such a good job. She was Emma through and through and I will forevermore refuse to hear another voice and associate it with this character. The narration matched the pace of the writing perfectly, making for a fantastic audio book.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖
I started this book knowing nothing about the book or the author and so my expectations were middle of the road. My expectations were exceeded with a riveting story told via great writing. Will definitely be reading more from Sarah Pinborough.