Before I Wake

Before I Wake

Book - 2006
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Tragedy can strike at any time. In a single moment of distraction, in one instant's miscalculation. 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. Meanwhile, Henry Denton, who was driving the truck that nearly killed Sherry, attempts suicide. Unable to die, he 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 own guilt, Henry struggles to understand this limbo, and what he must do to free himself. Under the pressure of caring for their child, the fissures in Simon and Karen's marriage become gaping wounds, and the family is pushed to the point of collapse. And then pushed even further by the undeniable fact that their little girl, trapped in her living death, has become a healer. As the world turns its lens on the family, and the sick and dying arrive to be cured, Simon and Karen must decide whether or not to allow these "pilgrims" access to their daughter. 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. Weaving together disparate voices, Robert J. Wiersema's brilliant debut novel sheds light on the inner lives of characters struggling against tragedy, finding each other, and themselves, in the darkness. In exploring how hope can be renewed in the face of unimaginable sorrow,Before I Wakereveals the power of forgiveness, and the true nature, and cost, of miracles. How do you hold a moment, knowing that it is the last? How do you take in enough to last you through a lifetime of absence? I don't want to remember her like this -- broken and bleeding, the machine pressing air into her tiny lungs. I want to remember yesterday, the way she laughed and ran; so alive, so filled with joy. I want to carry the stones she chose as a reminder of her, smiling and running. But I can't choose. I know that I'll remember this room as much as those mornings with the three of us in the big bed, snuggling and tickling and refusing to face the day. I know that I'll remember these bloodstained bandages as much as I'll remember last Christmas, her look of wonder as Simon read the note that Santa Claus left her, thanking her for the cookies. I know that I'll remember the moment I choose to let her go, the moment I feel her last breath, as vividly as I remember that gush of blood and love I felt as I heard her first cry, as I first saw her, tiny and twisted and perfect, wailing to raise the moon. Ashes to ashes. Blood to blood. Cries to silence. --FromBefore I Wake
Publisher: [Toronto] : Random House Canada, 2006
ISBN: 9780679313731
0679313737
Branch Call Number: FIC Wiers
Characteristics: 371 p

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ronston63
Aug 26, 2014

Good story.

n
nicolenozick
Jul 15, 2013

think it was about a young girl. started off great. then got silly. gave up on it.

v
vwruleschick
Mar 31, 2011

Reading this book, I did not expect it but enjoyed it, however some ideas were reaching for myself. Interesting characters and situations and enjoyed the points of view that the stories are told. Pushing boundaries in some areas.

g
gailygirl
Sep 15, 2007

A good story, reasonably well-written, but I'm sorry to say that for me - I wondered why this was on the list. Sorry Mr. Wiersema - but there are a lot of wonderful Canadian fiction writers out there. Perhaps your second novel might capture me better!

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