I think we can all identify with it, the yearning for a healing, dreamless sleep sometimes. Especially during difficult times, the desire to sleep can be strong, sleep and then wake up and find that all problems are gone. It obviously doesn’t work that way, we know that all too well, but we can wish for it.
In Sleep by C L Taylor, the scenario is the opposite. Anna simply can’t sleep after being involved in a car crash where two of her colleagues died. The accident was not her fault, yes she drove one of the cars, but she had no chance to avoid the accident. But what does it matter if it was her fault or not? The feelings of guilt rest heavy on her shoulders and lead to insomnia and paranoia. Suddenly she realizes that she is being persecuted, that someone is leaving mysterious messages for her, saying that it is time to sleep, to leave it all behind.
Finally Anna ca’t take it any more, she quits her job and goes to the remote Scottish island of Rum to get away from it all and to work at a Bed & Breakfast. There she hopes to find peace. Or…?
But it’s not long before mysterious messages start to emerge here too and strange things happen to the company that has arrived for a hiking weekend. When the storm hits and all communications with the outside world goes down, the situation becomes acute. Will she be able to save herself, and at what cost?
Sleep is undoubtedly a thrilling book, although the concept of the remote island in this case totally cut of from the rest of the world is old, it doesn’t make it any less scary. And why would it, it’s a brilliant concept and the suggestive, desolate environment of the island at the top of Scotland is undeniably making its mark.
There is something about those islands where you are completely extradited to the weather gods and to each other. I love it!