Thursday, January 25, 2007

Before I Wake

Out on the wet coast, rookie novelist but veteran bookseller Robert J. Wiersema had a heckuva 2006. His debut novel, Before I Wake, was a giant Canadian bestseller for most of the fall. Like Ami McKay, Wiersema benefited from fabulous word of mouth. Several people said “Have you read …?” to me during the year, referring to Before I Wake. And it even survived having a title that:

  1. No one (including me) ever remembers quite right [Before I Awake/Wake/Awaken etc]!
  2. Is the same title as several other novels (the Library has 3, including one from 2006)
The backstory is heartwarming. Wiersema is (or was I suppose) a bookseller at Munro’s Books in Victoria, BC. He was often in charge of author events, meeting the Big Names passing through. He cleverly developed a name for himself in the publishing world by becoming a prolific and sought-after book reviewer. When he had his novel ready to go, several publishers had some idea who this Wiersema guy was via his reviewing career.

But never mind all that – the book itself is excellent, a fabulous and thought-provoking good read. Wiersema, a model modest Canadian has noted that he won’t win awards for his prose style, but really, this is a well-written book.

From the book jacket:
“On a beautiful spring day, three-year-old Sherry Barrett is injured in a hit-and-run accident. Her devastated parents, Simon and Karen, wait by her bedside, hoping for a miracle . . . one that doesn’t come. Told that she will never recover, they agree to remove her from life support. And then the miracle occurs. Sherry doesn’t die. But neither does she wake.”
Lots more follows! But let’s not spoil it eh?


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