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While My Sister Sleeps [Kindle Edition]

Barbara Delinsky
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $9.46
You Save: $5.49 (37%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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eBook Original Short Story from Barbara Delinsky
Sunlight and Joy is Barbara Delinsky’s heartwarming story about a couple relearning how to appreciate the simple things.

Book Description


Once again New York Times bestselling author Barbara Delinsky brings us a masterful family portrait, filled with thought-provoking insights into how emotions affect the decisions we make and how letting go can be the hardest thing to do and the greatest expression of love all at the same time.

Molly and Robin Snow are sisters in the prime of life. So when Molly receives the news that Robin has suffered a massive heart attack, the news couldn't be more shocking. At the hospital, the Snow family receives a grim prognosis: Robin may never regain consciousness. Feelings of guilt and jealousy flare up as Robin's family struggles to cope. It's up to Molly to make the tough decisions, and she soon makes discoveries that shatter some of her most cherished beliefs about the sister she thought she knew.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Delinsky flounders on her latest, a chronicle of how a family deals with a tragedy that befalls its favorite daughter. An Olympic marathon contender, self-centered Robin Snow often rubs her younger sister, Molly, the wrong way. After many years in her sister's shadow, Molly takes out her resentment with petty actions, such as refusing to accompany Robin on a run. Fatefully, Robin has a heart attack while training and falls into a coma. As Robin's condition fails to improve, Delinsky digs tediously into the family's woes: Molly's touchy relationship with Robin's ambitious reporter ex-boyfriend; middle son Chris's dealings with a would-be blackmailer; mother Kathryn's trouble coming to terms with Robin's dire prognosis. Delinsky litters the narrative with momentum-crippling scene-setting minutiae, and the Snow family, while theatrically intense in their interactions, make for flat characters. Delinsky is adept as portraying angst, but her story would have greatly benefited from a tighter telling and more complex characters. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“Delinsky is a first-rate storyteller who creates believable, sympathetic characters who seem as familiar as your neighbors.” —The Boston Globe

“Delinsky is an engaging writer who knows how to interweave several stories about complex relationships and keeps her books interesting to the end.” —Newark Star-Ledger

“Delinsky treads the same domestic themes as fellow best-seller Jodi Picoult.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Delinsky may be as adept at chronicling contemporary life in New England as any writer this side of John Updike.” —Times Union (Albany)

“Delinsky delves deeper into the human heart and spirit with each new novel.” —Cincinnati Inquirer

“Delinsky uses nuance and detail to draw realistic characters and ensure that emotion is genuine.” —The Providence Journal

“Delinsky is out there with the Anita Shreves and Elizabeth Bergs, perpetually bestselling authors who wrestle with bigger themes.” —Lexington Herald-Ledger

“Fast-paced entertainment… In her new family drama, Delinsky examines the roles people unconsciously play in families and how a mother's single-minded passion to have one child fulfill a dream can create resentment in the other siblings.” —USA Today

"Molly Snow isn't worried when she gets a phone call notifying her that her sister is in the ER. A world-class runner, 32-year-old Robin Snow has had many injuries, and Molly arrives at the hospital expecting nothing worse than an ankle sprain. But Robin has had a massive heart attack while running, and the prognosis is not good. As the devastated Snow family holds a bedside vigil, they learn things about Robin that alternately surprise and distress them. Graced by characters readers will come to care about, this is that rare book...

Product Details

  • File Size: 1017 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (February 17, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001NLL8BU
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,715 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing...You Won't Be Able to Turn Away February 20, 2009
Molly Snow has always lived in the shadow of her older sister, Robin, who is a determined runner bound for Olympic greatness. Whereas Robin has always shone in the spotlight and is the apple of their mother's eye, Molly likes to remain behind the scenes, fulfilling her passion for botany, where she works in her family's business, the Snow Hill Greenhouse. Sometimes to her chagrin, Molly is also expected to support Robin's running, timing her practices and driving her to meets.

On a day Molly was supposed to be with Robin, tragedy strikes when Robin is found unconscious on the roadside by another runner. After being admitted to the ICU, it is determined that Robin had a massive heart attack that deprived her for oxygen for too long and left her brain dead. In the days that follow, each family is grappling with Robin's accident in different ways: Charlie, her father, tries to be the silent supporter, Chris, her brother, wants Robin off the life support, Kathyrn, her mother, believes that Robin will come out of this, and Molly just wants to do what Robin would have wanted, even though she doesn't know what this is.

While dealing with the guilt she feels for not being there for her sister, Molly is determined to do right by Robin and figure out what she wanted. Little does she know the family secrets she will unveil while looking for an answer.

Tackling a hot issue such as the ethics of life support is delicately executed by Delinsky's talented voice. Readers will find themselves wrapped up in the Snow's dilemma, and they will be thinking about the decisions made long after the last page is turned. While My Sister Sleeps is another thought-provoking story from bestselling author Delinsky.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First time reader February 18, 2009
This is the first time I've read a book by this author and I finished it over a weekend because I wanted to find out what happened - it grabbed me in the first few pages. A moral dilemma with very good character developement. Some characters I liked, some I hated, some I wasn't sure about, and some who changed from beginning to end. Twists and turns along the way kept my interest and explained some of the characters' actions. I highly recommend this book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Repetitous Read November 23, 2009
What a boring book! Usually I put a book down if I can't get into it within the first 60 pages but I persevered and made it all the way to Page 125 before putting down. I was hoping something, ANYTHING, would happen to move the plot along but for 125 pages Robin is brain dead, the family feels terrible, Robin is brain dead, the family feels terrible...this is all that happens within the first one-third of the book. I finally put it down last night; I just couldn't read anymore.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get out your tissues! February 19, 2009
I am a huge Barbara Delinsky fan and was excited to read her newest book. It doesn't disappoint...I was hooked from the beginning. What I loved most is that it truly makes you think about what you would do if, God forbid, your own family ever had to make the same decisions that the Snow family has to make. Be sure to read it with tissues near by!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Family moral dilemma March 12, 2009
I have been reading Barbara Delinsky's books for years, all the way back to her romance days. So I am always excited when one of her books comes out. This book does not disappoint, as other reviewers have agreed. Delinsky tackles hard subjects that honestly I tend to avoid, in a way that makes it palatable to read. Other authors, such as Jodi Picoult, also write about very difficult subject matter but in a more intense way. (Not trying to knock Picoult, because she is a fabulous writer- just offering a comparison)

Anyway, I liked the character development in While My Sister Sleeps. As a result of one character's accident, the other characters get to know themselves and one another in different and new ways. Each comes out somewhat better at the end, which helps make the situation more accepting.
Very good read, I could not put it down and thought about it a lot in between chapters and since I finished.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is not her best work February 23, 2010
I have read many of Ms. Delinsky's books and most are really well thought out and have many emotional moments. This book I never really cared for the sister Robyn who was on life support. I never cared about Molly the heroine either. It was all too forced and the only reason I give this book 3 stars is because anyone who can write a whole novel should get at least 3 stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
In typical Delinsky style, While My Sister Sleeps is a provocative drama about family secrets, rivalries, resentments and regrets.

In the opening, we meet Molly, the youngest sister in the Snow family, a horticulturist in the family business. Reliable, sometimes blunt and outspoken, she is definitely not the "star." While Robin, the oldest in the trio of siblings - Chris, the only son, is in the middle and quietly does his thing - is a prize-winning runner, on her way to greatness.

Then on one fateful day during a race - a run that Molly didn't have the time to attend - Robin has a massive heart attack. A Good Samaritan gives her CPR, but it may have been too late. She is comatose, while the family waits for the grim outcome.

Throughout the waiting process, we gradually come to know each family member, with the secret fears, hopes, and regrets - through their internal dialogues, conversations, and in Robin's case, a CD containing her personal journal - and discover the bonds and strength that unify them all in the end.

Like an unexpected gift that opens slowly, revealing hidden treasures,the family members finally realize that they do have the strength to make the necessary decisions.

I read this one nonstop, pausing only for necessities, and when I was done, I wished for more. I felt I had come to know this family and the flawed characters that felt so real.

Laurel-Rain Snow
Author of: Web of Tyranny, etc.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I loved this book!!
Published 22 days ago by Jackie Sprague
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Satisfied. Will do business again in the future
Very Satisfied. Will do business again in the future. Highly recommend them.
Published 28 days ago by Anthony R. Pascarella
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
this book hit on so many real life dramas. well done
Published 1 month ago by Kathleen W.Murphy
4.0 out of 5 stars bring your tissues!
Amazing and moving story, lots of tissues needed. Inside every family are unspoken stories that need to be told. Heart-warming and worth the read.
Published 4 months ago by TS207
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic story with alot of twists and turns a must read
Published 4 months ago by bobbie
2.0 out of 5 stars had potential. complete lack of depth.
As somebody whose family has had more than our fair share of hospital vigils and untimely deaths, I felt this book completely lacked emotion. The people are mostly like cardboard. Read more
Published 4 months ago by t.
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money...
This book made me angry. Molly is an idiot. Katherine is mean and self centered. Charlie is a wimp....
Just aweful.
Published 6 months ago by Nancy McCune
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love to read Barbara Delinsky. She makes a story come alive. This book was enjoyable to read.
Published 6 months ago by Kaye Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars While my Sister Sleeps
I really liked this book. Family is everything and it really showed in this book. Also it goes to shows that you can't assume or presume that what your parents think about there... Read more
Published 7 months ago by CINDY S OLSON
5.0 out of 5 stars reality is life
This story hit home to me as I lost a brother to cancer 5 1/2 yrs ago and decisions had to be made quickly and it does bring the family closer even in sadness, we appreciate each... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ruth H. Curtis
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More About the Author

Barbara Delinsky, author of BLUEPRINTS (2015), SWEET SALT AIR (2013), ESCAPE (2011), NOT MY DAUGHTER (2010), WHILE MY SISTER SLEEPS (2009), THE SECRET BETWEEN US (2008), and FAMILY TREE (2007), has written more than twenty-one bestselling novels with over thirty million copies in print. She has been published in twenty languages worldwide. Barbara's fiction centers upon everyday families facing not-so-everyday challenges. She is particularly drawn to exploring themes of motherhood, marriage, sibling rivalry, and friendship in her novels.

A lifelong New Englander, Barbara earned a B.A. in Psychology at Tufts University and an M.A. in Sociology at Boston College. As a breast cancer survivor who lost her mother to the disease when she was only eight, Barbara compiled the non-fiction book Uplift: Secrets From the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors, a handbook of practical tips and upbeat anecdotes. She donates her proceeds from the sale of this book to her charitable foundation, which funds an ongoing research fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Barbara enjoys knitting, photography, and cats. She also loves to interact with her readers through her website at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter as @BarbaraDelinsky.

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