Book Review: Sleeping Tigers by Holly Robinson

HOLLY ROBINSON, a 2012 Semi-finalist for Best Indie Books and a 2011 Book of the Year Finalist, has written an emotional novel dealing with what I would deem a “coming of age” book. While most books with that theme deal with a teenager’s journey to adulthood, the protagonist of Robinson’s Sleeping Tigers is already a mature, educated woman who has it all. But something is missing.

Jordan O’Malley is not happy with her life, so she has decisions to make. Does she continue her staid, boring life with a stable, but controlling husband, or does she file for divorce? Does she continue to be controlled by the opinions of others or does she decide to think for herself?

Holly Robinson

The answers to these questions do not come easy for Jordan. She has grown up in a dysfunctional family: an overprotective mother who tries to keep peace in the family at all costs, an alcoholic father who has a hot temper and is verbally abusive, and Cam, her younger brother who becomes a drug addict. Cam refuses to make a stand and face the world. Instead, he and runs away and succumbs to drugs.

Jordan, too, runs away from the life she has always known. She tries unsuccessfully for several months to try to contact Cam. She wants to know if he is safe. So, when her summer break begins, Jordan leaves everything. She divorces her husband, puts her possessions in storage, and heads for San Francisco, the place where she hopes to make contact with Cam.

Cam has moved from the dysfunctional home of his youth to another. Jordan does not understand the free-wheeling lifestyle of Karen, her childhood friend, and her associates, nor does she comprehend her brother’s self-imposed exile from her, their parents, and the child he has fathered. Only after Jordan follows Cam to Nepal does she begin to fully understand her brother and his journey back to a drug-free existence. Jordan, too, has taken a journey, one that opens her mind to the fact that she must “follow her heart” to find true happiness and self-fulfillment.

 

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