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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Emerging Author Presents Two Faces, Voices to the Young Readers

When She Sleeps

By Leora Krygier
Author’s Site:
Genre: Young Adults

Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, award-winning author of This Is The Place and Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered
When She Sleeps. A new voice for young adults. Another winner for Leora Krygier.

Krygier weaves the enchanted world of Vietnam and the asphalt streets and privileged hillside homes of LA into an intricate story. When She Sleeps is as much about language and how we are shaped by it as it is about two girls in different parts of the world who are attached genetically to one another but who have no knowledge of the other’s existence. Out of neglect and destitution, the child of war-stricken Saigon takes to living her Vietnamese mother’s life through the fragile woman’s dreams; the American daughter of a doctor in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley finds little sleep and when she does, it is troubled.
Two stories are told with distinctive voices that somehow are entwined. Their real lives throb with vibrant sights, sounds and smells while their dream sequences feel much like a song that was sung in the past and remains with us as we walk our every day lives. The reader comes to understand the emotional needs that draw the two to one another; the sisters are like two parts of a Miz Pah coin, each worn as a charm by strangers a half globe away. Inevitably the jagged edges begin to fit and the mystery of their lives is revealed.
Krygier has woven a kind of magical realism that fits this literary category and, at once, is uniquely her own. Publishers often become jaded, believing that there nothing new is offered to them; some don’t recognize it when it comes to sit in their laps. This press deserves much credit for taking a chance on a story entirely its own, on a book--from the story line to the melody--consuming and beautiful.

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