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The Hazards of Sleeping Alone    by Elise Juska order for
Hazards of Sleeping Alone
by Elise Juska
Order:  USA  Can
Downtown Press, 2004 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by Kim Atchue-Cusella

Charlotte Warren is just coming to terms with the fact that her daughter Emily is living on her own, when Emily informs her that she is moving in with her boyfriend Walter and another couple. This throws Charlotte for even more of a loop than Emily's newly pierced tongue. Charlotte is having a nice peaceful visit with her daughter when Emily announces that Walter, her boyfriend, will be joining them. Charlotte does not want to like Walter because he is pulling Emily away from her, but she feels drawn to his personality.

Emily has little patience with her mother's quirks since her divorce many years before - Charlotte feels the need to make sure the door is locked and is always thinking someone will break into the house. Her entire life has revolved around her daughter and now that Emily has a boyfriend, Charlotte feels her slipping away slowly. As the weekend wears on, Walter reveals a secret that infuriates Emily. The two leave Charlotte wondering what she can do to help. She calls in Emily's father to visit and talk over possibilities.

Elise Juska tells a wonderful, poignant, story of a mother and daughter coming to terms with the changes in each other's lives. The Hazards of Sleeping Alone is a well written story of love and compassion, which explores the intricate relationship between a mother and a daughter, who have to accept the fact that each has their own life. Emily is the typical daughter who loves her mother dearly but needs her independence. Charlotte loves her daughter so much that she has a hard time letting go. When Walter comes into her life, Charlotte is surprised to find herself liking the man who could take Emily away.

Read The Hazards of Sleeping Alone yourself and then pass it on to your mother and/or daughter. Elise Juska's style of writing stays with you and, if you have a daughter, will make you consider her growing up years anew.

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