Updated: May 26, 2022
Reviewed by Joseph C. Posner for Readers' Favorite
Tragedy has many layers. In this gripping thriller, the reader is thrust into the tragedy experienced by Mae after the loss of her daughter, Melody. Compounding Mae’s trauma is the suspenseful chain of events in Sleep Deprived; Mae encounters a child kidnapper named John, who coerces her into looking after a snatched baby girl. Mae dramatically escapes with the baby - whom she cares for, but whom equally pours salt in the fresh wounds of her own loss - only to find herself become a primary criminal suspect and vilified by the community. Aided by her loving husband, Warren, Mae is eventually acquitted and rescued not only from her physical circumstance, but also her mental agony.
Heckenkamp possesses a consummate writing style. In Sleep Deprived, not only does the narrative unfold in a captivating manner, the reader also resonates with the thoughtfulness with which it has been authored. It is said that there are not many things more devoted than a mother’s heart, and Heckenkamp articulates this with considerate subtlety. The reader is confronted with the immediate reckoning that, despite the dramatic plot, the far more important factor to be conveyed is the tenacity of Mae’s heart, and the plethora of emotions that any mother can experience – having lost a child or not. The allegorical and real necessity of rest is skillfully interwoven as a reminder to heed God’s wisdom and accept the support of those he has placed in our lives, lest we find ourselves capitulating to layers of tragedy.