by S.J. Watson
Harper Books – June 2011
368 pages; $25.99
“I cannot imagine how I will cope when I discover that my life is behind me, has already happened, and I have nothing to show for it. No treasure house of recollection, no wealth of experience, no accumulated wisdom to pass on. What are we, if not an accumulation of our memories?”
Each day Christine Lucas wakes with no memory. The only details she can recall are scattered memories from her childhood and young adult life. She doesn’t know the man in the bed next to her, why she looks so old, or what’s happened to her to cause this situation. With no other choice, Christine must rely on the information provided to her by her husband as to who she is and how she got into the situation she finds herself. Each morning is the same, complete memory loss after awaking from sleep.
“The nineties. It was odd to hear summed up in two words a decade that I could not remember living through. I must have missed so much. So much music, so many films and books, so much news. Disasters, tragedies, wars. Whole countries might have fallen to pieces as I wandered, oblivious, from one day to the next.”
In an attempt to regain her memory, Christine begins working with a therapist. Christine begins to sense that what her husband has been telling her, about her past, isn’t exactly true. Memories begin to return sparsely; and in an effort to help remember more information, and to verify what she’s being told, Christine begins keeping a secret journal. While recording her returning memories, information learned from her therapy sessions, and things told to her by her husband – Christine begins to realize the story of her life doesn’t add up.
Watson alternates between journal entries and straight narrative dialog. Some of the story is rather repetitive, however that repetition is key to the story of what Christine is facing day-to-day. The real edge of your seat enjoyment comes from the climactic scene leading to the book’s end. One thing Watson does really well in Before I Go To Sleep is create characters that keep the reader guessing as to what their intentions are – good or bad? Fans of psychological thrillers will no doubt enjoy this book.
For more information on Before I Go To Sleep, please visit the publisher’s website by clicking HERE.