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Are You Sleeping: A Novel Hardcover – August 1, 2017
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“..[An] inventive debut…The intense plot and character studies are enhanced by the emotional look at the dynamics of a family forever scarred by violence." (Publishers Weekly starred review)
"Barber is a delightful writer who has produced a taut thriller that will leave you wondering the identity of the killer. My prediction: the book is destined for the New York Times best seller list." (Chicago Tribune)
"I was completely hooked from the very fist page. Layers of deceit, family drama, a murdered father, a disturbed mother, mayhem, cults, lies, betrayals, and a possibly deranged podcaster--this story has it all. Lanie and Josie are Janus twins, and their twisting lives left me breathless. Who to trust? Who to believe? Who really killed their father? ARE YOU SLEEPING taps into our collective conscience with a true crime podcast propelling the narrative and takes an unflinching look at the truths we create about ourselves. Kathleen Barber is a fabulous new author to watch. If you like twisty psychological thrillers, this is your book." (J.T. Ellison, bestselling co-author of THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE)
"Kathleen Barber perfectly captures the media frenzy around a notorious murder and the inclusion of a podcast adds an extra layer of timely eeriness. The public perception is contrasted flawlessly against the element of private pain, such that the “public” itself becomes a fully developed character. Beautifully and sympathetically written, ARE YOU SLEEPING? is a murder whodunit, a social commentary, and an exploration of sisterly bonds all in one." (Kate Moretti, author of The Vanishing Year)
“Are You Sleeping will more than likely keep you up all night as this most compelling suspenseful novel unfolds. A classic whodunnit gets a very clever modern treatment that left this reader's heart racing right up to the last page.” (--Liz Nugent, author of Unraveling Oliver)
“Reminiscent of the hit podcast Serial, this debut is an exciting read about what happens when the past continues to haunt the present.” (Dallas News)
"Anyone who has fallen head-first into a podcast such as "S-Town" or "Serial" will appreciate the plot of Kathleen Barber's novel." (--Houston Chronicle)
"Ripped from the headlines of an on-line pod cast that reopens murder cases, this really well written psychological thriller moves rapidly through time as it unravels the circumstances surrounding a small town murder." (Fiction Addiction)
"Josie's dark past becomes fodder for the podcast du jour--if that doesn't hook you, the twist will." (Cosmopolitan)
“An excellent examination of what it must be like to be caught up in a media frenzy…absorbing reading for those who can’t get enough of flawed-but-likable narrators.” (Booklist)
About the Author
Kathleen Barber was raised in Galesburg, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Illinois and Northwestern University School of Law, and previously practiced bankruptcy law at large firms in Chicago and New York. When she’s not writing, Kathleen enjoys traveling the world with her husband.
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I really liked how this story was told. It was told from the point of view of Josie, and also through transcripts from Poppy Parnell's podcast "Reconsidered: The Chuck Buhrman Murder" and then also from tweets and FB posts.
Josie's chapters were her trying to come to terms with her mothers death, plus all the doubts and questions that the podcast were now making her have on what happened the night her father was killed. Also seeing her twin sister Lanie again after 10 years. We also got background on Josie and Lanie's childhood as Josie was remembering. Then we had the podcast transcripts, that were Poppy's investigating work and interviews with different people that knew the twins and the family that starts shedding doubt on who may have really killed Chuck Buhrman. And then at the end of the chapters, there was also Tweets going back and forth between people about the podcast.
I really liked the flow of the book. Never a moment when I thought, okay lets get this moving along. I liked how the characters all had issues, none of them were perfect. And It really makes you realize, just how much social media impacts how we view and believe news stories and the people involved.
It seems like this is Ms. Barber’s first book and I would hope that she will be writing another one. I would love to read it.