Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Before I Wake” as Want to Read:
Before I Wake
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Before I Wake

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  1,086 ratings  ·  200 reviews
After an unthinkable tragedy happens, an unbelievable miracle begins. . . Three-year-old Sherry is the adored only child of Simon and Karen Barrett. But when Sherry is critically injured in a hit-and-run accident, the fault lines in the Barretts's marriage begin to show. As her parents' marriage falls apart, it is discovered that Sherry has miraculous healing powers.

Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 22nd 2008 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published August 8th 2006)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,847)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
It started off really well, but as the story progresssed things totally fell apart for me.

I think the premise was good, but the author just seemed to get too lazy to bother filling the story lines out in a believable fashion. Karen's lack of emotion over her husband's affair just didn't ring true and when she ended up befriending Mary, the author lost all credibility with me. She was just a little too calm, cool and collected for a woman whose husband just left her for another women on the heel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
“And what have you done?”

“Many things, Henry,” he said. “Time is long and old men forget…”

“That’s not an answer.”

“No, it’s Shakespeare.”


My introduction to Wiersema’s work came earlier this year when, after being introduced to the CZP catalogue, I found a copy of The World More Full of Weeping at my local White Rock Indigo. A mildly traumatic story about a boy lost in the woods behind his home in much the same way that his father had gotten lost in them many years earlier, The World More Full
I loved this book! I'm not sure why it hit such a chord with me, but it did. It combines a story about family, faith, forgiveness, and the supernatural. The characters are ones that you hate one minute and love the next.

When a little girl, Sherry, is involved in a hit and run she doesn't die but rather slips into an odd coma that her doctors can not understand. She should be dead on hosptial acquired pneumonia and infection.
This entire event fractures the fragile relationship of her parents Sim
I continued reading this book even though I really didn't like it. That is the only reason I gave it two stars instead of one. The author kept me turning the pages with the suspense of what was going to happen next but the book was completely unbelievable. I never quite figured out what was going on with the people in the library and who really was Father Pete. I'm assuming it was all about the devil and saints but I'm not sure. And what ever happened to Henry and why did the little girl die aft ...more
I didn't love Before I Wake, didn't hate it. It was a very quick read, in part because I was skimming over some sections and didn't feel the need to linger over the writing.

I have a couple particular quibbles: Wiersema's choice to jump between first-person narrators isn't my favourite style. It kept the novel moving quickly, but as the reader I didn't have to put in much effort to understand the characters.

I also didn't find that Wiersema dug very deeply into any character's emotions or motivati
This book is a quick easy read with an interesting topic. It does have some interesting concepts and ideas to think about but much of the story is weak and on the surface. The dad having the affair thing and what happens throughout the book is so far fetched and makes Karen so weak although I think the author is trying to make her out as a hero.
Compelling although rather simplistically written. It seems more like a television script than a novel in some respects, although I enjoyed the descriptions of Victoria and local landmarks. I guess the author was saying something about formalized religion versus spirituality, but I'm not clear what.
When a three-year-old girl slips into a coma after being injured in a hit-and-run accident, her parents' marriage threatens to break up under the burden of the tragedy. The driver, hounded by guilt, unsuccessfully tries to kill himself and ends up in a kind of limbo where he can no longer be seen by the living. At the same time, the little girl becomes a source of healing miracles. This is a good debut where the author successfully walks the narrow line between a moving, credulous supernatural s ...more
Nathan Burgoine
n a word: fabulous. Conjuring the same multi-person perspective on an extreme situation as you find in Jodi Picoult’s “My Sister’s Keeper” or Alice Sebold’s “The Lovely Bones,” “Before I Wake” takes us into the home of a family who is suffering from one of the worst events that could ever happen: the hit-and-run brain-death of their three year old daughter. But when unexplained events that even the agnostic parents can’t help but think of as ‘miracles’ begin to occur, the fallout is intense. The ...more
I forgot about this book...I don't know how I could have. This is a fabulous story... touching and thought provoking. A Christmas gift that I inhaled even faster than the festive bonbons I received.
This book takes place in Victoria BC which made it fun to read as I knew many of the places mentioned in the book. The story has a good against evil supernatural storyline. I enjoyed this book.
Enjoyed this book and would think anyone who likes Jodie Picoult would enjoy it as well.
I give this book 1.5 stars. The beginning of this book drew me in and I was excited to read it. However, I struggled to make it to 100 pages as things started to slow down. I struggled to stay interested throughout the rest of the book and realized this wasn't at all what I expected. Even though the main characters of the book didn't consider themselves religious, much of the book focused on religion. These types of books are hard to keep my attention so I gave 1.5 stars for drawing me in at the ...more
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
Before I Wake from Canadian author Robert J. Wiersema is a story about young Sherry, a 3 year old girl who is seriously injured when she is involved in a hit and run accident on a traffic crossing by a pickup truck driver.

Sherry's parents Karen and Simon Barrett face their worst fears when their only child won't wake from her coma and unfortunately their marriage fractures under the pressure. Karen takes Sherry home, hires a nurse and settles into a steady routine with daily visits from Simon.

Ralph Alvaro
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abria Mattina
It took me a while to get comfortable with Before I Wake. I doubted the blend of supernatural/spiritual with a subject as stark as brain death, and didn’t really warm up to that mix until the third act. I was satisfied by the ending, which was surprisingly uplifting after everything the characters had gone through.

What I struggled with most was the middle of the book, when it’s discovered and publicized that Sherry, rendered comatose after a hit-and-run accident, can perform healing miracles. Sh
Mother and 3 year old daughter are crossing the street & daughter gets hit by a truck. She is in a coma and doctor's decide there is nothing more they can do for her, so parents take her home and care for her there.

Her Care Giver soon notices that she herself no longer suffers from arthritic pain ni her hands and comes to believe it has something to do with working with this child. She invites her crippled sister to come and touch the child and she too is also "healed." Soon there are sick p
I bought this book on the ferry three days ago; I read it in 4 sittings. Robert Wiersema chose to tell this story through different character's perspectives in first person, jumping from one character to the next. I am not at all fond of this kind of broken narrative -usually- but I found the style engaging and suspenseful in this novel.
The more I read, the more I liked it. I kept asking myself "Okay, how's this going to come together? Please let it be good, is it going to come together and wil
Apr 19, 2010 Tammy rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tammy by: Shelfari
I loved the way this book started but I did not like the book.

It starts like this: "I only looked away for a moment. That one phrase haunts a parent when something tragic happens to their child. It echoes in the mind like an accusation. Or a curse.
'I only turned my back for a second, but somehow he managed to reach the handle of the frying pan . . . '
'I just went inside to answer the phone. I thought the gate to the pool was locked . . . '
It's a cry for understanding, a challenge to the universe
Mar 04, 2009 Elizabeth_agd rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elizabeth_agd by: KPL Books & Breakfast
I enjoyed this novel. It was chosen as part of a book club I am in and I doubt I would have picked it up on my own, however, I am glad that I was introduced to it.

The format of mini-chapters being from a variety of characters kept my interest. It was a very easy read.

Summary from
They say there are three sides to every story. Yours, mine and the truth. InBefore I Wake, debut novelist Robert J. Wiersema cleverly introduces a multitude of voices to tell this astonishing story of
I was a little hestitant to start this one. I thought it was going to border on bizarre. And it did, for a while. But in the end, I really enjoyed it.

Three year old Sherry is hit by a truck and put into a coma. Her parents' relationship, once thought to be solid rock, unravels during the aftermath and then it's determined that Sherry holds the power to heal--both bodies and spirits.

Henry, the guy in the truck, attempts to take his own life, but instead finds himself in between worlds. As he trie
Before I Wake by Robert J. Wiersema

Before I Wake by Robert J. Wiersema is praised as being a “Globe and Mail best book”. After reading this book I can see why it has this designation. It was a great story which forced me to ask myself some important questions.

One of the things I took a look at in myself was how I view miracles. Do I believe in miracles? In angels? Do I believe that there is someone, or are some persons, who are looking out for me? How about you, do you believe in miracles?

It was
I read the book “Before I Wake” by Robert J. Wiersema, and I loved it! It is a fictional story, and very dramatic! In this book, a couple had to deal with a tragic accident that would cause more problems in their marriage than they thought possible. Their precious three-year-old daughter, Sherry, was hit by a truck and then went into a coma. The driver of the truck felt extremely guilty and tried to kill himself, but he couldn’t! He was then stuck in a place between life and death. Meanwhile, i ...more
Allison Baggio
Well, after a lot of humming and hawing I finally sat down and read this book. I was a bit nervous about what my emotional state of mind would be throughout, since I have a young daughter and the thought of-- well, you know.

So, I read it, and I survived! Despite bawling through the first few chapters, I got through it just fine and was actually riveted when I discovered that this wasn't actually a book about how horrible it is to have your little girl hit by a truck. It is instead, a book about
Jocelyn Unger
This book was incredible. I never really thought I would like a book in this genre, super-natural thriller. It was happy, sad, scary and intense. I would recommend this book to everyone. It's long, so you'd need patience to get through the whole book. I found myself wanted to skip certain parts that didn't interest me. If you skip a part you might miss a big chunk of what is happening.
I loved the characters in the book. I felt like I had known them my whole life because they were described so w
Cara Blevins
I put off reading this book for several months because I was not entirely interested in the subject but it came highly recommended by a friend. So I eventually cracked it open, if for no other reason than to finish it and get it off my nightstand. In the end, I'm surprised by how much I liked this book, given my lack of faith, but perhaps the mother-daughter aspect made it especially poignant for me. This book brought me to tears in spots and seeing red with anger in others. The ending was satis ...more
I work in a public library and I was about to shelve this book when the cover and title intrigued me. I read the first few lines and decided to borrow it without really knowing what to expect. The story definitely took a few unexpected turns and the premise was interesting. Without spoiling too much, the book's tone/message got really religious, which can put off some people. Not being very religious myself, maybe I missed some of the references to characters and plot points that (maybe) would h ...more
Good story and interesting telling. There are short first-person narratives regarding the same event. This felt somewhat like the first-person narratives in The Time Traveler's Wife where you get to learn about the event from a each character's experience (and with their bias). The author did a good job with this and it was the main reason I enjoyed the book. The reason for the lower rating is that the book is fairly dark (in the first 25 pages the 3-year-old gets hit by a car, you find out her ...more
A very good debut novel!!! One of the most interesting and captivating stories I've read in awhile.

From back cover:

"Tragedy strikes the Barrett family when three-year-old Sherry falls into a coma after a hit-and-run accident. Her devastated parents, Simon and Karen, wait by her bedside, hoping for a miracle - one that doesn't come. Told that she will never recover, they agree to remove her from life support. And then the miracle occurs, Sherry doesn't die. But neither does she wake. Wiersema bri
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 61 62 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Garneau Block
  • Inside Out Girl
  • Natural Order
  • Lost on Brier Island
  • Suddenly
  • Magnified World
  • Web of Angels
  • The Barrio Kings
  • One Good Hustle
  • Luck
  • Home From The Vinyl Cafe: A Year Of Stories
  • Megiddo's Shadow
  • People Live Still in Cashtown Corners
  • The Ever After of Ashwin Rao
  • On the Farm
  • The Death Of Donna Whalen: A Novel
  • Tweestrijd
  • Practical Jean
Bedtime Story The World More Full of Weeping Walk Like a Man: Coming of Age with the Music of Bruce Springsteen Black Feathers Chilling Tales: Evil I Did Dwell; Lewd Did I Live (Chilling Tales, #1)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Part of life was never getting a chance to say all that you should to someone before they are gone.” 3 likes
More quotes…