Don’t Close Your Eyes

      Publisher: Atlantic Books 

      RRP: £7.99

      Author: Holly Seddon 

      Published:  2017-07-06

 

 

 


Robin and Sarah weren't the closest of twins. They weren't even that similar. But they loved each other dearly. Until, in the cruellest of domestic twists, they were taken from one another. Now, in her early 30s, Robin lives alone. Agoraphobic and suffering from panic attacks, she spends her days pacing the rooms of her house. The rest of the time she watches - watches the street, the houses, the neighbours. Until one day, she sees something she shouldn't...

And Sarah? Sarah got what she wanted - the good-looking man, the beautiful baby, the perfect home. But she's just been accused of the most terrible thing of all. She can't be around her new family until she has come to terms with something that happened a long time ago. And to do that, she needs to track down her twin sister.

But Sarah isn't the only person looking for Robin. As their paths intersect, something dangerous is set in motion, leading Robin and Sarah to fight for much more than their relationship...


 

An intense thriller which deftly twists and turns.

 

Don’t Close Your Eyes is a thriller following the intersecting lives of fraternal twins, Robin and Sarah. The story moves between recounting the events of their past which separated them from one another, and current efforts for them to rediscover their bond.

As children, Robin and Sarah were not at all alike. It was difficult for anyone to accept they were siblings, let alone twins. Each one of the pair is favoured by one parent; Robin is a daddy’s girl, while her mother gets frustrated by her messiness and tomboyishness, while Sarah is her mum’s good girl. When their lives start to change as their parents drift apart, Sarah and Robin are swept along by the events with little choice, thrust into a new compound family, and ultimately, living on different continents.

This distance only serves to magnify their differences in temperament, and it is difficult for the sisters to readjust when they are, once again living in the same country. The adult sisters readers encounter seem so far removed from their younger selves, and it is impossible not to become invested in understanding the events which have forged them into the women we meet. Each distressed and damaged in their own way, but struggling to relate to each other’s turmoil, Don’t Close Your Eyes deals with a number of difficult themes. The symptoms of mental health difficulties are front and centre in the narrative, although very much from the perspective of a layperson. Robin’s agoraphobia is initially quite stereotypical, almost textbook, and suffers a little in realism as a result; Sarah’s difficulties are, thankfully, a little more complex.  Despite this, the story utilises these portrayals to challenge readers’ expectations and assumptions in a satisfying manner.

While some viewers may find some parts of Don’t Close Your Eyes difficult to read, it is nonetheless an intense thriller which deftly twists and turns, subverting the audiences’ expectations time and again, leading to an ending which is both unexpected and surprising.


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