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**** - Insomnia




In the dead of night, madness lies…

Emma can’t sleep.


It’s been like this since her big 4-0 started getting closer.


Her mother stopped sleeping just before her 40th birthday too. She went mad and did the unthinkable because of it.


Is that what’s happening to Emma?



As someone who finds it incredibly easy to sleep anywhere and everywhere, I have a worry that one day I’m going to find out I have used up all of my sleep and end up with insomnia! Therefore, Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough seemed like the perfect, unsettling read for me.

We meet main character Emma who is worried about turning 40, as that’s the age her mother was when she stopped sleeping and started having mental health issues. We watch as Emma starts to battle with insomnia and deal with her life unravelling around her in the week leading up to her birthday. I enjoyed the unreliable narration of the novel, with events being missed out from Emma’s perspective and being revealed later on. This really kept the reader on the back-foot at all times, unsure what was real and unable to fully trust our narrator. Emma isn’t the most likeable of characters though, keeping a lot of memories private and making some really silly decisions.

Although there’s a lot of twists and reveals through the book, I did feel that it got a bit repetitive in places. There’s a lot of night-time chapters where the same unnerving things happen to Emma which I think could have been edited down. I like the progression of the story though and the stakes are kept high throughout. I didn’t have any sympathy for the rest of the family– I would have liked to think that if my husband noticed any worrying change of behaviours, particularly insomnia that he would talk to me about it with compassion, unlike Robert who just seemed to accuse Emma of things without any love or care. I think a lot of the issues in the book could have been made 100 times better with some basic communication between the characters which stretched my suspension of disbelief a little.

The end twist was a good one and although I had guessed who the person responsible was, I hadn’t really been able to work out how they slotted into the story. Although it seemed a little convenient, it was a good idea and made for a satisfying reveal. I’m finding it hard to read about books that make mental health their punchline twist or main storyline at the moment as it seems a little dated for the 2022 climate. However, adding an almost supernatural element to the story helped to not make the story as controversial as it could have been. This does however, leave the reader with more questions than answers by the end.

Overall, Insomnia is an unsettling and chilling psychological thriller with a supernatural twist. Thank you to NetGalley & HarperCollins UK – Harper Fiction for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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