While My Sister Sleeps

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Published by: Anchor
Release Date: October 27, 2009
Pages: 382
ISBN13: 978-0767928953



At 27, Molly Snow is the youngest of three siblings. Feisty but hard-working, she has always been overshadowed by her older sister, Robin, an elite marathoner who is favored to shine at the upcoming Olympic trials. When Robin suffers a heart attack during a training run and fails to regain consciousness, her family is devastated.

As Molly’s parents fold under the heartbreak and her brother retreats into the cool reserve that is threatening his marriage, Molly is the one left standing. By default, she is thrust into the role of family spokesperson, not only with friends and the media, but at Snow Hill, the family’s hugely successful tree and plant nursery. More crucially, Molly becomes her sister’s voice when Robin can’ t speak for herself. In the process, she finds her own voice.

While My Sister Sleeps is more than a coming-of-age story. Taking place over six days, this novel explores a family in crisis, peeling away layers of relationships to expose one startling truth after another. Mother to daughter, sister to sister – it is a story of rising to a challenge and making hard decisions, then loving enough to let go.


“[An] engaging exploration of every family’s worst nightmare.”

“Graced by characters readers will come to care about, While My Sister Sleeps is that rare book that deserves to have the phrase ‘impossible to put down’ attached to it. Delinsky does a wonderful and realistic job [in] this touching and heartbreaking novel.”
—Library Journal

“Fast-paced entertainment.”
—USA Today

“… nothing short of a beautiful story. Delinsky’s ability to take a horrifying event and weave it into a beautiful familial tale is absolutely remarkable. ‘While My Sister Sleeps’ is bittersweet and extremely moving.”
—Daily Iowan

“Delinsky picks a provocative topic and gives the reader an opportunity to explore it through an engaging story. [She] has done her homework.”
—Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star (VA)


Chapter 1

There were days when Molly Snow loved her sister, but this wasn't one. She had risen at dawn to be Robin's water-bearer, only to learn that Robin had changed her mind and decided to do her long run in the late afternoon, fully expecting Molly to accommodate her.

And why not? Robin was a world-class runner - a marathoner with a dozen wins under her belt, incredible stats, and a serious shot at making the Olympics. She was used to people changing their plans to suit hers. She was the star.
Read the full excerpt


Think green. We hear the phrase all the time, but it resonates on a deeper level with me. Way back, when my kids were little and I was desperate to get out of the house and go somewhere soothing, I discovered a plant nursery. It was maybe twenty minutes from my home, but light years removed. Here, with my boys in a stroller, I spent hours all-told wandering up and down aisles of green plants, smelling damp earth, basking in filtered sun, inhaling moist, healthy air. This was my personal spa in the days before spas were in style.

I bought my share of houseplants and tried to recapture a bit of the serenity in my own home, but three young boys had a way of negating the effect. By the time they were in school and my days were more quiet, I was writing up a storm and not thinking about plants. But I never completely forgot that greenhouse escape.

I've recreated a bit of it in While My Sister Sleeps. Snow Hill is the family business, and though it covers acres of land and sells trees, shrubs, and all sorts of garden accessories, the pièce de resistance - Molly Snow's domain - is the greenhouse. Molly works here. She also escapes here, finding the same moments out of time under the fronds of lush ferns and palms that I did. My hope is that readers will enjoy the escape, too.

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