For those of you who would like to discuss Sleep in more depth, here are my answers to the reading group questions at the end of the book. I don’t always go through them but something about this book got me going. The full review is available here.
WARNING! There may be spoilers below.
Question 1 – One of the central themes in Sleep is guilt. How far does this influence the characters and do you think all the guilt Anna feels is deserved?
Everyone is familiar with survival guilt, right? If not personally, then at least heard about it from someone else. Anna blames herself for the death of her two colleagues throughout Sleep , and it’s understandable. If only she had done “this” or hadn’t done “that”. Ultimately, what happened was an accident and I think she did not deserve any of it. Christine on the other hand…
Question 2 – The book is set on the remote Scottish isle of Rum. How big a part do you think the setting plays in the book? Would the storyline have been impactful if it has been set somewhere else?
Firstly – please Google this place, the landscape is beautiful!
The chosen location worked for me. I think the storyline in Sleep is strong and would’ve carried itself anywhere. However Rum is perfect for setting the scene for paranoia, because it’s so remote and away from everything. Throw in a week long storm and you’re on your way (figuratively)!
Question 3 – Sleep contains a lot of very complex, damaged characters. Who stood out to you as the most engaging character, and why?
Ah, well, Anna as she was leading the narrative.
Couldn’t help but feel for Mohammed. Although he features in the book a lot less than many other characters. He goes though a hell of a lot in the space of the 400 pages and his story affected me quite deeply.
Question 4 – What do you think the future holds for Anna and Joe?
Nothing unites people more than going though something together, even more so if this “something” is awful. I think they’ll be friends, but I just can’t see them get together as a couple. Can you?
Question 5 – Did you find the ending of the book satisfying?
Definitely, I would not change it.
Question 6 – To what extend did you empathise with Katie by the end?
I mean.. Katie did so well looking after her mother when her dad walked out on them. No-one should go through something like this alone, worse still as a teenager. I can understand why she felt that she’s missing out on “teenage stuff” whilst caring for her mum. But if she went ahead and did what I thought she was going to do then her reason would’ve been so selfish.
Question 7 – To what extent did you find Anna a relatable character?
I really liked Anna, and I was with her throughout Sleep. She’s a smart and strong woman who did everything she could do survive her darkest days and come through alive.
Question 8 – Melanie and Malcolm have a difficult relationship. Do you think they are right to think about divorce by the end of the novel?
Question 9 – Do you thing there’s a relationship between sleep and mental health?
Mental health is something that is talked about more now than it ever has been. According to Mind, there’s a close relationship between sleep and mental health.
In Sleep Anna showed signs of mental health issues due to lack of sleep; and although her fears eventually materialised she did have a few episodes where her judgement was questionable.
Question 10 – Would Christine still have been obsessed with sleep and death if her father hadn’t been a doctor?
Christine, a whole new kettle of fish. Although I think she was traumatised by what happened to her mother when she was younger, I also think that she had mental health issues despite of it. So, my answer is she would have been obsessed with death regardless.
Let me know what your thoughts were about Sleep? Do you disagree with my views? Let me know in the comments below!