Title: Sleeping Tom
Author: E.V. Fairfall
Publication Date: February 15th 2015
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Hitchhiking is a bad idea but Caden is desperate.
When she accepts a ride from the first car to come by she meets Gabriel. He’s her age, hot, and the closest thing she has to a savior. Problem is, he is a total jerk. With nowhere to go, Caden convinces Gabriel to let her stay with him for one night. He reluctantly lends a couch.
That night Caden wakes up to strange noises. Concerned, she rushes into Gabriel’s room, already anticipating his bad temper. Instead, he’s kind, sweet, and suspiciously harmless—nothing like the man who gave her a ride. He seems like a different person altogether, and claims he is. By night he is Tom, and by day he is Gabriel. Caden finds herself drawn to the mysteries hidden in his eyes.
For Gabriel, Caden is an annoying mistake. One night turns into many, and despite all his anger towards her, she stays. She even seems to accept him and his flaws, but he still doesn’t trust her—is she staying for him, or has she already discovered more than he’s willing to share?
Sleeping Tom is made all the more intriguing by the fact that E V Fairfall explores the idea of multiple personalities, without crossing the line between reality and the paranormal.
At first, Caden assumes that Tom is another person, living with Gabriel, who she needs to rescue. In researching the subject further, she realizes that Tom is just a compartmentalized area of Gabriel’s psyche, who, as a result of trauma or abuse has retained his childlike qualities.
It is not just through E V Fairfall’s creation of Gabriel that the idea of duality is examined. In the beginning of the story, we meet Rebecca, who has been manipulated by her boyfriend. Rather than jump from the bridge she stands on, she decides to become Caden. To her, a new name means adopting a different set of personality traits,
” Caden. It fit her better. It had to. She would make it fit; she would change into a new girl. This time she would do things right. She wouldn’t mess everything up.”
Caden discovers that there is an object which is precious to Tom and is possibly the key to his awakening. This is a decorative butterfly, broken on the first night she meets him. According to animal symbolism, butterflies represent “powerful transformation“, “renewal, rebirth” and “the world of the soul“. Tom is determined to keep the butterfly, even retrieving it from the rubbish, but when Caden realizes its significance, the consequences are beyond anything we could have imagined.
Sleeping Tom is a compelling novel, in which E V Fairfall combines psychology and romance. The conclusion to the story is unpredictable and the reader finishes, craving the book’s sequel.