Forty-six-year-old John Wraith regains consciousness after a car accident to learn that his wife and five-year-old daughter died in the same incident. What is all the more traumatic for him is that he was driving the car. At the urging of his sister, John decides to recuperate in her holiday chalet in Nature’s Valley, on the South African coast. It is winter and Nature’s Valley is largely deserted – except for a disturbed young woman of seventeen called Jackie, her equally strange brother and her father, who is a born-again Christian. John’s uneasy yet intense involvement with this trio, particularly with Jackie, to whom he is sexually attracted, provides the novel with its driving narrative and extraordinary, shocking denouement. Written in lucid, often beautiful prose, Sleeper’s Wake is a haunting study of man at his most naked and vulnerable.