A sneak peek of I Do Not Sleep

Tuesday 6 January 2015

Packed full of atmosphere and intrigue, Judy’s second novel I Do Not Sleep explores the enduring power of maternal love against the evocative backdrop of Judy’s beloved Cornwall.

Here Judy shares the opening pages of her haunting and intensely moving new novel…

Molly walked along the coastal path, head down, oblivious to the beauty of the day, the singing surf, the call of the gulls, the sheep dotting the coarse green grass. She always kept her head down on this walk, determined not to feel any pleasure in her surroundings, as if she were afraid of being moved by the loveliness of this place. She had armoured herself against enjoyment; there was no longer any of that to be had in her soul, and should any momentary surge of joy caused by the brisk salty beauty of the footpath touch her heart, she regarded it as a betrayal. Besides, it made her cry, and she’d done enough of that for a lifetime.

No, this pilgrimage was not a pleasure, it was a grim necessity. She did it every day; it was an hour’s walk along the coastal path to get from her rented cottage in Polperro down to Talland Bay and then on along to Looe, until she reached the spot. Only then would she lift her head, only then when she knew what she would see: the island. This was the whole point of her journey; this view had become the whole point of her life.

She stood, every day, never sitting down on the nearby grass. She never brought a drink, or anything to eat. She just stared steadily at the wooded green contours of the island, so close to the mainland yet so remote and secret, cut off for weeks at a time by roaring seas, treacherous riptides, and the terrifying sandbar between the foreshore and Looe Harbour, where so many fishing boats had come to grief.

People watched her, of course. Tourists passed with questioning looks. The locals who walked the path had stopped trying to approach her. Instead they shrugged and whispered in the shops in Looe.

‘That poor woman,’ they said. ‘It’s terrible what happened; she seems to be losing her mind.’

And she stood, watching, motionless except for her hands. They never stopped moving, winding themselves incessantly through the folds of a thick woollen scarf. Joey’s favourite, left behind in the cottage. Red, vibrant, the colour of life.

And afterwards, the punctured colour of death.

I Do Not Sleep will be released 12th February 2015. To pre-order your copy click here.

Add a Comment
  • Oh wow, yes, I can't wait for the next page. I'm guessing that her son drowned but probably that's too obvious. Anyway, roll on Feb 15th 2015. Thank you Ann.

    Ann Panum