The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Room comes a spine-tingling novel of lies, loss, and buried desire the mesmerizing story of a wife and mother who vanishes from her bed late one night. When Annalee Ahlberg goes missing, her children fear the worst. Annalee is a sleepwalker whose affliction manifests in ways both bizarre and devastating. Once, she merely destroyed the hydrangeas in front of her Vermont home. More terrifying was the night her older daughter, Lianna, pulled her back from the precipice of the Gale River bridge. The morning of Annalee’s disappearance, a search party combs the nearby woods. Annalee’s husband, Warren, flies home from a business trip. Lianna is questioned by a young, hazel-eyed detective. And her little sister, Paige, takes to swimming the Gale to look for clues. When the police discover a small swatch of fabric, a nightshirt, ripped and hanging from a tree branch, it seems certain Annalee is dead, but Gavin Rikert, the hazel-eyed detective, continues to call, continues to stop by the Ahlbergs’ Victorian home. As Lianna peels back the layers of mystery surrounding Annalee’s disappearance, she finds herself drawn to Gavin, but she must ask herself: Why does the detective know so much about her mother? Why did Annalee leave her bed only when her father was away? And if she really died while sleepwalking, where was the body? 

Conjuring the strange and mysterious world of parasomnia, a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness, The Sleepwalker is a masterful novel from one of our most treasured storytellers.” 


Annalee is a wife and a mother. She suffers from parasomnia or sleepwalking.  One evening she just disappears.   She was sleepwalking and never returned home. Her family’s life has been turned upside down. Lianna refuses to go back to college. Paige is constantly searching for her mother.  And Warren has turned into a lush. What happened to Annalee? Was she murdered? Did she run away with another man? 

There are so many things to say about this novel. It is unique, intriguing and beyond interesting. The author creates an intricate web within this story. Annalee’s disappearance, Annalee’s miscarriages, Lianna’s relationship with the detective, the parasomnia traits in the family, just to name a few. 

I was so wrapped up in the story and the characters I never saw the twist coming. And Mr. Bohjalian always has a twist. This novel does not move as fast as some reads. The intricacies of the story and the characters are pretty complex. It is not a book you can skim.  You WILL miss something.

Kudos to the author for originality.  The sleepwalking premise is enthralling. Basically because I knew so little about it and I learned a lot as I was reading. Lots of research went into this story and it is so well thought out and displayed. Impressive, very impressive. 


I received this book from Netgalley for a honest review.


About fredreeca

I am an avid reader and paper crafter. I am a mom of 2 children, 5 dogs and 1 cat. I am a huge St. Louis Cardinals Fan
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