I have been fortunate to meet Dani Atkins on several occasions but I have to confess to never having read one of her books so, having heard such wonderful things about them, I was determined to put that right. My enormous thanks to the lovely folk at Simon and Schuster and Books and the City for my copy of Dani’s While I was Sleeping in return for an honest review.
Published by Simon and Schuster, While I Was Sleeping is available for purchase through these links.
While I Was Sleeping
What if someone else was living your happy ever after?
When Maddie wakes up in a hospital bed, she can’t remember anything about what happened to her or what has changed.
She just remembers she was about to be married and had everything to look forward to.
But it seems life has become a lot more complicated while she has been asleep …
My Review of While I was Sleeping
Maddie’s wedding plans are about to be altered.
Wow! Reading While I Was Sleeping made me feel as if my heart had been ripped out, torn into tiny pieces and jammed back into my chest irreparably changed.
This is going to be a book that is impossible to review accurately and effectively as I really don’t want to spoil the story for other readers . Consequently, I’m not going to focus too much about the plot except to say that While I Was Sleeping has some surprises along the way, much humour, searing honesty and a depth of emotion that is unparalleled. I was so fortunate that I was able to read it in one sitting on a long haul flight as Dani Atkins has crafted a tale that I couldn’t tear myself from. I was so entirely absorbed that I had no notion of what was happening around me.
The limited and beautifully defined cast of characters means that the reader becomes intimately involved with them, living alongside Maddie, Chloe and Ryan as their lives intersect with an intensity that is almost too much to bear at times. My own loyalties fluctuated between them all until I was as emotionally invested in the outcomes as they were themselves.
While I Was Sleeping is so skilfully written. Dani Atkins is fabulously clever in being an impartial persona behind Maddie and Chloe’s voices so that I found my loyalties vacillated frequently, perfectly mirroring what was happening in the book.
I thought the way the relationships were presented was utterly magnificent, as were all the themes of love, loyalty, nature, nurture, health and grief.
I am aware that this review is slightly vague, but I truly feel that more detail might spoil for others a tear jerking, heart rending story that hit me like a sledge hammer and left me emotionally wrung out. What I will say is that I thought While I Was Sleeping was completely fantastic and you should read it for yourself to find out why.
About Dani Atkins
Dani Atkins was born in London, and grew up in Cockfosters, Hertfordshire. She moved to a small village in 1984, where she has lived ever since in a 350-year-old cottage with her husband, two (now grown-up) children, one Siamese cat and a very soppy Border Collie.
Dani has been writing for fun all her life, but following the 2013 publication of her novel Fractured (published as Then and Always in the US), has made writing her full-time career. Her other novels include The Story of Us (2014); Our Song (2016); Perfect Strangers (a standalone eBook novella published in December 2016) and This Love (2017). In 2018 This Love won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award at the RoNAs ceremony in London. Her new novel, While I Was Sleeping, was published in August 2018.