November 19, 2011

Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson

Christine wakes up in the morning and looks to her side.  She sees a man she's never seen before.  She looks around the room and realizes she doesn't recognize that either.  Her first thought is that she must have gotten really drunk the night before and ended up in some mans bed.  Worse than that, he's an old man... and he's wearing a wedding ring!  She quietly gets out of bed and tiptoes to the bathroom, but when washing her hands she notices something odd... foreign even.  Her skin... it's thinner, veiny, wrinkled.  The screaming doesn't begin until she looks up at her reflection and realizes that she doesn't recognize the woman staring back at her.  She has aged, twenty years, over night.

The man in bed, rushes into the bathroom and begins to explain.  Christine has had an accident, many years ago, leaving her with no memory and no ability to fabricate new ones.  Every night when she falls into a deep sleep, her memory resets and she is left with no recollection of the previous day.  The man is her husband, Ben, and every day he has to reintroduce his wife to their life.

After Ben goes to work, she receives a phone call from a man, Dr. Nash, who is a psychologist and neuroscientist, who says that they've been working together to try and restore her memory.  When she doesn't believe him, he tells her to go look in the shoebox hidden in the back of her closet.  In it, she finds a journal, written by herself, documenting the past few weeks.  It's her history... the only history she knows... the only truth she has.  Just then something catches her eye.  She has written on the first page of the journal in large capital letters:  DON'T TRUST BEN.

This book is FAN-Tastic.  This is definitely the best book I've read all year.  It is heart-wrenching and confusing.  You have to travel with Christine and under her circumstances to find out the truth of what has happened all those years ago.  You have to work with her to find out if she really shouldn't trust Ben, her husband of twenty-something years, or if she's just confused.

While reading this, I began to feel like I was the one becoming paranoid.  I started thinking that maybe I had missed something... maybe I was confused.  And as the end approaches you will not be able to breathe!  I was literally holding my breath, and I'd have to put the book down to just say "Ahhhh" for a minute.  You know it's a good book when you do that!  Such a good read.  Suspenseful, thrilling and mysterious.

5 stars.

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  1. Ooohhhh. Sounds good. Downloading to my!

  2. I listened to this one and would really recommend the audio version. I could NOT stop listening! The whole time you know something's not quite right but it's so fascinating to watch Christine put together the pieces. Glad you liked it!

  3. This sounds fascinating--the beginning reminds me of that movie Memento/50 First Dates (but a lot darker of course!) I've put it on my to-read list.

  4. Bee, it reminded me a lot of Momento and 50 first as well! haha!


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