After an unthinkable tragedy happens, an unbelievable miracle begins. . .
Three-year-old Sherry is the adored only child of Simon and Karen Barrett. When Sherry is critically injured in a hit-and-run accident, the fault lines in the Barretts's marriage begin to show. As her parents' marriage falls apart, it is discovered that Sherry--in her coma-like state--has miraculous healing powers.
Meanwhile, the guilt-stricken driver of the truck attempts suicide--but is unable to die. Henry Denton instead finds himself in a place of darkness, somewhere between this world and the next, invisible to all but a group of mysterious and downtrodden men. Haunted by his shame, Henry struggles to understand this mysterious limbo, and what he must do to free himself.
As word of Sherry's powers spread, her parents must decide how best to shelter their daughter and help the many sick and dying who are drawn to her side. At the same time, a larger battle is brewing--one that has been raging for close to two-thousand years, and one that might yet claim the lives of Sherry and her family.
Robert J. Wiersema's brilliant debut novel sheds light on the inner lives of characters struggling against tragedy, who find each other and themselves in the darkness. Before I Wake reveals the power of forgiveness, and the true nature, and cost, of miracles.
"A stunning debut . . .original, thought-provoking, and downright wonderful."
-Michael Connelly, New York Times #1 bestselling author of The Closers and Echo Park
"I wept over this book as I read it, and I'm stillhaunted by it . . . disturbingly powerful."
-Gail Anderson-Dargatz, author of A Recipe for Bees
"A literary supernatural thriller that grips the reader in a chokehold and doesn't let go until the very last line. . . . It never shies away or backs down from its questioning of faith, theology, morality and mystery. . . a unique, spellbinding, and ultimately uplifting gem."
-- The Globe and Mail
"Through a tale that is both intimate and profound, Robert J. Wiersema reminds us there is magic in truth, and truth in the fantastic. An edge-of-your-seat debut that is never faint of heart."
-Ami McKay, author of The Birth House
"A wonder to behold. A deft fusion of intimate family story, suspense and religious exploration. One of those books you just don't put down until you've read to the last page. . . Magnificent."
--The Edmonton Journal
"Deceptively easy to read because it is so well written and so emotionally engaging. It will haunt you long after you've lent it to a friend. And lend it you will, because it is just too good not to share."
"Before I Wake provocatively dances along the lines between faith and science, life and death."
--Andrew Pyper, author of Lost Girls
"Engrossing and carefully plotted . . . Wiersema's compassion and sympathy for his characters are genuine. . . he tells a cracking good tale."
--Quill & Quire
In this impressive debut, Wiersema crafts an intelligent, contemplative supernatural thriller replete with well-rounded characters, artless dialogue and a plot that, while imbued with the unexplained, develops organically, revealing its secrets at just the right pace. In the novel's opening pages, three-year-old Sherry Barrett, an only child, is rendered comatose in a hit and run accident. What follows could have been a typical thriller full of cartoonish villains and escalating peril; it also could have been a treacly fairy tale about God's miraculous healing power. Happily, Wiersema steers clear of these well-traveled roads and, by way of multiple first-person narratives, tells an engrossing story of flawed but genuinely good people who must bear up under the stress of loss, betrayal, unwarranted miracles and unconventional spiritual warfare. Particularly well-imagined is the purgatory of sorts that Henry, the truck driver, must endure after he fails to come forward after the accident. Reminiscent of Wim Wenders's film Wings of Desire, Henry's nature, longings and environs paint a poignant picture of souls in need of redemption. While some readers may find one of the novel's final revelations less original than the rest of the story, Wiersema gets nearly everything else right, and the result is an engaging, emotionally resonant read. (May) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Showing 1-1 of the 1 most recent reviews
1 . Tear Jerker
Posted December 16, 2008 by Kathy , Cottonwood HeightsI stayed up all night reading this book. I had such a hard time putting it down. This was such a heart wrenching story. My heart ached for the mother and father. I was sad to have the book end. It was a good ending, very bittersweet. I highly recommend this book.
St. Martin's Press
July 21, 2008
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.