'Affecting . . . both tense and tender'
Sophie Mackintosh, Observer
'Thoughtful . . . nuanced and powerful'
One summer, sixteen-year-old Kit's life is upended by a strange sleeplessness. While her body lies in bed, she is able to wander through the night undetected, roaming the streets of her run-down seaside town, entering the houses of friends and strangers.
But the most painful revelations are found closest to home. Unseen and unheard, she witnesses the dark tensions in her parents' marriage and, as her family starts to implode, she is forced into an impossible decision that changes everything.
'Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is one of the most distinctive and luminously original novelists of her generation'
Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti
'Elegant, atmospheric, sharp-edged'
Cal Flyn, author of Islands of Abandonment
A lyrical, bracing read, wearing the influences of Kazuo Ishiguro, Ruth Ozeki and Virginia Woolf light as a perfume -- Annabel Nugent * Independent *
Beautifully written and compelling * Daily Mail *
The pleasure in Buchanan's writing lies in her insightful phrases and shrewd observations -- Suzi Feay * Guardian *
Thoughtful . . . nuanced and powerful -- Alex Peake-Tomkinson * Spectator *
Affecting . . . both tense and tender -- Sophie Mackintosh * Observer *
The Sleep Watcher simmers with tension and a constant threat of violence - and yet it is so delicately and cleanly observed as to make reading a pleasure. A pitch-perfect evocation of coming of age in a seaside town - with all the freedom and risk that comes of growing up among flawed and fractured adults. Elegant, atmospheric, sharp-edged . . . it is a novel that obsessed me from the moment I opened the cover. -- Cal Flyn, author of Islands of Abandonment
With agonising precision, The Sleep Watcher captures that estranging moment of young womanhood when you suddenly realise your body, your parents, your whole world is nothing like you thought. The writing is incredibly beautiful and unbearably tense - I had to hold my breath as I read. It is exquisite. -- Ruth Gilligan, author of The Butchers
Charged with the otherworldliness and shrewd social perception found in the works of Shirley Jackson and Octavia Butler, The Sleep Watcher is a bracing and compelling portrayal of adolescence and feeling uncanny at home. Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is one of the most distinctive and luminously original novelists of her generation and I'll read anything she writes. -- Sharlene Teo, author of PONTI
The Sleep Watcher is a taut and vicious thrum of a novel, deceptively pretty and mesmerising as the calm before a storm. Rowan Hisayo Buchanan cuts close to the bone with her insights on family and secrecy, trust and power, and the dangerous, double-edged keenness of intimacy -- C Pam Zhang, author of How Much of These Hills Is Gold
In her uncanny central conceit Buchanan has hit on a perfect metaphor for the estrangement of adolescence. The Sleep Watcher is a beguiling, atmospheric work, at once wary and tender, of how we haunt our parents and how they in turn possess us. -- Peter Ho Davies, author of THE FORTUNES
An incredibly moving story about connection, loneliness, and what we do when we think no one else is watching. Beautifully written - Buchanan's prose has a brilliantly sensitive touch. -- Julianne Pachico, author of THE LUCKY ONES
Buchanan has written a beautiful book. In The Sleep Watcher she manages to a tell a story that is ethereal and other-worldly while being heart-breakingly human. We are lucky to have her unique voice. -- Paul McVeigh
In elegant and restrained prose, the novel charts one young woman's summer of heat and dreams, of longing and rebellion, of relationships deteriorating and new experiences rising. No one is writing about the interior worlds of women like Rowan Hisayo Buchanan. The Sleep Watcher is an astonishing achievement, in which ordinary life and a magnificent unreality collide. I loved it. -- Gemma Seltzer, author of Ways of Living
I absolutely adored The Sleep Watcher. It is so finely wrought - with an aching, delicate beauty and suspense -- Jessica J. Lee
Slippery, luminous, ethereal . . . like finding sea glass at the beach. Hisayo Buchanan writes like a dream, only this time her subject is also dreams, liminal spaces, adolescence on the brink of adulthood, sleep that skirts the rim of waking, what is real about her father at the creeping dawn of a young woman's realisation. She is my favourite contemporary writer -- Abigail Tarttelin
A powerful meditation on the realisations that come with adolescence -- Pat Carty * Irish Times *