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Sleep Toward Heaven: A Novel

About the Book

Sleep Toward Heaven: A Novel

In Gatestown, Texas, 29-year-old Karen Lowens, dubbed the "Highway Honey," awaits her execution and bides her time in the company of a host of convicted serial murderers, all of whom cling to a final hope of absolution. In Manhattan, Dr. Franny Wren, also 29, resists the urge to escape from her carefully crafted but suffocating life. She begins to rediscover herself through the lens of her past as she revisits her Gatestown roots to bury the uncle who raised her. In Austin, Texas, a day's drive from Gatestown, Celia Mills, a once sublimely happy and vibrant young librarian, clutches on to the essence of her slain husband as she struggles to continue a life without him, to reclaim her hallmark brio, and to foster her will to live a normal life. In the backdrop of this fictional Texas town, peppered with oddball natives who are often deluged by media obsessed with ideology and death penalty rhetoric, Ward puts faces to people who are as funny as they are morbid -- people who deal with overwhelming issues in daily doses.

Sleep Toward Heaven's primary thematic concerns -- the sanctity of life, the responsibility of family to nurture, loyalty, and betrayal among friends, the doctor/patient relationship, tenderness in unexpected places -- are finessed into an impressive portrait of these women's disparate lives as they are similarly touched by violence, loss, and self-destructiveness -- and connected by a murder spree that can only end in state-sanctioned execution.

Sleep Toward Heaven: A Novel
by Amanda Eyre Ward

  • Publication Date: February 17, 2004
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial
  • ISBN-10: 0060582294
  • ISBN-13: 9780060582296