When forty-six-year-old John Wraith regains consciousness after the horrific car accident that claims the lives of his wife and daughter, he is adrift, bewildered and deeply traumatised. He takes up the offer of time to recuperate in Nature's Valley, a wild, unspoilt coastal settlement at the edge of dense forest and indigenous bush. It is winter and most of the holiday homes are boarded up. It is here that his path crosses that of a damaged family in retreat from their own horrific trauma: Roelf, a devoutly religious man trying to make sense of what has happened to them, and his two children, seventeen-year-old Jackie and her younger brother Simon. John's uneasy involvement with this trio and particularly with Jackie, for whom he feels a confusing mixture of protectiveness and sexual attraction, provides the novel with its driving narrative and, ultimately, its shocking denouement. Written in lucid, often beautiful prose, Sleeper's Wake is a haunting study of man at his most naked and vulnerable.