Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Sleepwalking In Daylight
Sleepwalking in Daylight by Elizabeth Flock
Samantha Friedman has been feeling some disconnect between herself and her husband, Bob, for some time now. Perhaps it is the lack of physical intimacy between them, or the fact that they don't have conversations more complex than "How was your day?", "Fine", anymore. So when Samantha meets Craig during a train ride and they begin exchanging daily emails, she begins to wonder if there isn't more for her outside of her deteriorating marriage. How can she leave, though, when she has the twin boys, Jamie and Andrew, and adopted daughter, Cameron to think about? Meanwhile, Cameron is struggling with the fact that she doesn't feel like she fits with the Friedmans. Having been adopted at 2 years of age, she never thought much about it until someone commented on the fact that she doesn't look like the other members of her family. When she approached her father to ask, Bob simply replied: "because you're not our real daughter". Since that day, Cameron has strived to find out who her real mother is and why Cameron hadn't been good enough to keep. Between Samantha's desire to feel some connection with someone again, and Cameron's desire to find out where she fits, the Friedman house is pulling in many different directions. So when the worst happens, will it make or break them?
I'm still struggling to decide whether or not I liked this novel. On the one hand, I enjoyed that the author explored the family dynamics of a couple in their mid-life stage, and how over the years and with the stress of raising a family things can change - sometimes drastically. On the other hand, I felt that Samantha was far too selfish, and despite her feelings of disconnect with Bob, she never really laid her feelings out on the line for him. She approached the subject several times, but never to the point of flat-out saying "I'm unhappy and you're unhappy, so what can we do about this?". I thought Cameron seemed the typical teenager - still finding her place among the cliques at school, feeling the pressures of drugs and sex, etc. I think in the end I felt very sorry for Cameron because it seemed that Samantha was too caught up in herself to give her daughter any feeling of being wanted, and yet blame could easily be placed on Bob for the same thing. The novel was good, not great, and probably not one I would be quick to recommend to anyone. Regardless, I still enjoy the writing style of this author and am glad to have read this.