Morning everyone.  Back again – 2 days in a row!  Today I’ve got a review for you on Not Sleeping by Alan Winnikoff, a contemporary novel about a couple coming to terms with, and managing their separation whilst still looking after their children, including their autistic daughter.

about not sleeping

It is said that over 70% of special needs marriages fail.

This is the story of one.

Not Sleeping depicts a suburban New York couple, Josh and Claudia Sherman, separated though not yet divorced. As they struggle to navigate their way through the painful process of uncoupling, they also must continue to co-manage the difficult demands of their nine-year old autistic daughter. It was Josh who decided to leave the marriage. But, in an unanticipated turn of events, Claudia is the one who quickly finds a new relationship. As the story moves forward, Josh’s Plan B, as he calls it, begins to take shape. It is centered around a possible new job and his own nascent romance. But Plan B also necessitates him to moving to California and leaving his familiar life, and specifically his children, behind. Josh is drawn toward this powerful chance at reinvention — but with no guarantees and at what cost?

Publisher: Crowsnest Books (1 April 2021)

Formats available: Paperback & eBook

Purchase links: Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

my thoughts

Josh and Claudia separated within the last year and are coming to terms with this and the challenges of co-parenting their autistic daughter whilst not being together.  Claudia has embarked on a new relationship and is getting used to a new way of life, and Josh – the one who decided to end the marriage, is trying to get used to his single life.  But when things at work take a drastic change for him, he has to reconsider what is important in his life.  Should he leave this life behind and reinvent himself somewhere more glamorous, or should he stay and be around for his children? You’ll have to read to find out what he decides to do!!

Not Sleeping takes you on a journey with Josh and Claudia as they get used to their new ways of life.  I have to say I’m not a great fan of Josh!  Obviously marriages don’t always last, but the way he behaves sometimes is selfish and annoying.  Part of me feels like Claudia is definitely better of without him! But then again, I’m not sure her new man is right for her either……but I’ll let you decide on that!

The aspects of the story that cover their autistic daughter Amy are heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.  It’s clear how much Josh and Claudia love and adore their daughter but the challenges that they have to face, and the decisions that they have to make will really make you think about what life must be like for parents of a special needs child.  It definitely feels like Claudia puts much more into her daughter than Josh, who seems to take a step away as soon as he can.

Quite a lot of the story covers Josh and the things that are happening at his work.  Again, there were quite a few unlikable characters that will make your blood boil!  Many of them come across as egotistical – definitely the kind of men I wouldn’t want to be around!

This story will take you on the uncoupling journey with both Claudia and Josh as they try to figure out which way their lives are going since they’ve separated and how things will work.  It’s really quite sad how things ended between them, but I was pretty satisfied with the ending…..

If you like a domestic, contemporary story that is relatable to people in real life, then you should check this out!



about the author

Alan Winnikoff is the author of the 2017 novella The Weekend, which was praised by reviewers as “smooth,” “reflective” and “a stunning picture of doubt, realization and the what-ifs of love.” His short story, “These Lean Times,” appeared in the Spring, 2020 issue of the literary journal New Feathers Anthology.

A native of Los Angeles, Winnikoff owns a public relations and social media firm in Manhattan. He lives in the Hudson Valley with his wife, their two sons and their ever reliable autism service dog, Cedar.

Many thanks to Alan and the publisher for gifting me with a copy of the book.  All views and opinions are my own.

Have a wonderful day lovelies

Chelle x

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