Sunday, February 26

Book Review: Before I Go To Sleep

"Before I Go To Sleep" by S.J. Watson is a very moving novel about a women who's memory is erased each night as she sleeps. Each morning she wakes up to a man she does not know, to a life she does not remember - to a life 20 years from the one that she remembers. To describe it simply, it is a serious counterpart to the less serious movie, "50 First Dates".

Every morning when Christine wakes up, she is explained who she is, where she is, who her husband is - Ben, and the worse, about her accident leaving her the inability to retain memory from the day to the next day. She also cannot fully remember, or grasp memories from her past. Everything is a haze.

She is one day contacted by a Dr. Nash who very much would like to try and help her. Since he has been previously 'rejected' by her husband, he suggests that they work in secret from her husband. He encourages her to keep a journal, and it is through the effort of keeping the journal and reading it each morning that Christine finds she is not only starting to dimly remember things, but full memories are coming back  to her.

It is a constant battle for Christine of who is she, who is telling the truth, what truths are being kept from her and what lies are being consistently fed to her. She fights with herself of whether to trust her husband, Dr. Nash or even her own memories thinking maybe she just 'made things up.' With no solid memory to think back on, she completely begins to rely on her journal to reinforce what her thoughts are telling her. Only when she reads a simple small note that she made a week or more before on her journal that things spiral in a way that no one was expecting.

This was a book that I could not put down, especially during the third part of it. To me, it was disturbing to think that this is the reality for some - that they have no memory. But to read of Christine's journey and her determination to find out who she was very captivating. This book is a fictional memoir turned psychological thriller. Being told from Christine's view (most of the book is her journal that she kept), I got drawn into the complex of 'what is a lie, and what is a truth'. As a reader, you only know what Christine is told. Even when flashes of memory come, they cannot be 100% trusted as they could have been made up and she could be creating them as she infers certain events. The climax of this story was truly unexpected for me. An amazing thriller.

1 comment:

  1. Ooooh! That sounds reallllllly good!!! :) Adding to my must-read list!


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