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I have read a few Mary Higgins Clarks novels but He See's You When You're Sleeping is a quite a bit different to her usual novels. They are generally thrillers usually involving murder or kidnap etc, so I found this book to be quite a refreshing change.
This story is basically a fantasy and works quite well as I have to admit I was a bit sceptical as to whether I would enjoy it. I was pleasantly surprised and would be happy to read any other of her books that had a similar fantasy aspect. The other difference with this book is that it has been co wrote with her daughter Carol Higgins Clark.
The story regards Sterling Brooks and how he has spent the last forty-six years seeing people come and go whilst sitting in the Celestial Waiting Room. He has been waiting all that time for his admission into heaven. Then just days before Christmas, he is summoned before the Heavenly Council and found to be unworthy as throughout his life he has been totally self-absorbed. The Heavenly Council decide to give him the chance of redemption, to do this he is given the chance to go back to Earth and find one person to help.
Knowing this may be his only chance to enter heaven he agrees and is sent to New York where he appears at the Rockefeller Center skating rink. Sterling encounters Marissa, who is a seven-year-old girl who is heartbroken as her father and grandmother have been forced into the Witness Protection Program. They are being pursued by two local gangsters and are in serious danger. At the will of the Council he is able to travel through time and space, Sterling then devises a plan to reunite Marissa with her family just in time for Christmas.
Will Sterling realise that maybe it is good to help someone and who knows he may be able to succeed in his plan and get his wings in time for christmas.
This story has the ultimate feel good effect to it and after reading you get that warm fuzzy feeling. The characters are likeable especially Marissa, and even Sterling begins to grow on the reader quite quickly. He has made mistakes but deep down he is a very caring person. This novel portrays perfectly the idea of redemption and how good it can be to help other people. It can be a little sickly sweet at times but on the whole it does manage to keep a fair balance, but I can understand how this may put people off though.
It was released in 2002 and can be bought in paperback from Amazon for around £4.99.