ASLEEP WITHOUT DREAMING
BARBARA FORTE ABATE
Halcyon Moon Books
Rating: 3 Cups
Willa Burkett, age fourteen, has been waiting her whole life to leave the lackluster town of Hoosick Falls. Her mother, Stella, makes a rapid and impulsive shift to get them out of town and leave everyone behind, including her father. They end up in the Moonglow Motel threatened by Norman Hitchcock, a legend in the town, while their car is broken-down, vandalized and useless.
Omega Pearle Bodie, owner and “operator” of the motel, puts Stella to work. Their lives turn dark. In the desperate loneliness and restless boredom, Willa will have her world rocked to the core in ways she does not immediately understand, until the craziness of the life she has left behind starts to look good.
Willa attempts to keep one step ahead of the ever-twisting whims of a mother prone to keeping secrets and telling lies, of a murderous arsonist returned to the scene of his earlier crimes to dole out revenge and of Jesse Truman, n incomprehensible boy with indigo eyes whom Omega Pearle has hired as handyman. Willa longs to save him, if only she could understand what it is he needs saving from.
The book starts out like Thelma and Louise without the humor. Ms. Abate’s literary writing style resembles Ms. Simpson’s in The Lost Father and Anywhere But Here. This author is the mistress of minutiae and body language over substance. She has many talents, but featuring the plot is not one of them.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More