Friday, November 25, 2011

Before I Go To Sleep

S. J. Watson's novel, Before I Go To Sleep, was a fast and interesting read leaving me with many things to think about.

Christine suffered an accident that took with it her memory. Now each day as she wakes, she must re-learn who she is, where she lives, who she is married to. She can recall a few things from her childhood and a few feelings of familiarity from time to time, but not much beyond that. She is at the mercy of her husband, Ben, who cares for her. Christine has been seeing Dr. Nash, a man interested in treating her and assisting her in retrieving her memories, without Ben's knowledge. Dr. Nash has Christine keeping a journal which allows her to read about her events of previous days but also allows her to record items she does not remember but may not re-learn every day, such as the fact that she had a son named Adam.

I will admit that at times I became confused about what Christine had read in her journal each day, or if what she was recalling was something she had re-learned from her husband. While there seem to be some inconsistencies in what Ben is telling his wife, they are easily explained as his way of dealing with caring for someone who has lost all memory. This book is not the fun romp like What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, yet I was very engaged in Christine's story and found it hard to put down. While this is categorized as a novel, I feel as though it could easily be considered a psychological thriller as Christine tries to determine what "accident" caused her to lose her memory and which people she should trust.

The topic of memory seems to be popular right now. Read-alikes include: What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante, and Still Alice by Lisa Genova.


Marce said...

This topic does seem popular. I LOVED Still Alice.

I didn't enjoy this one as much, I 'figured' out the surprise so to speak.

I haven't decided which one to read of the others, I think I added Turn of Mind from your review but after others i'm not so sure.

This one was nominated as best thriller also.

Ceska said...

I was excited about the concept of this book, and at first had trouble putting it down. But, the characters were predictable as was the outcome so I was slightly let down about halfway through the book. Having had trouble with amnesia myself, maybe I just wanted some answers that made sense, but the many inconsistencies throughout this book made it less believable. A person with this degree of disability would not be left alone as much as Christine, but try it for might not be able to sleep tonight or any other night!