Before I Go To Sleep Author:S. J. Watson "As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I’m still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me ... " — Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you ... more »love -- all forgotten overnight.
And the one person you trust may be telling you only half the story.
Best thriller I have read for ages! The book is based on a similar concept to Memento, but the way in which the author tells the story (in the form of diary entries by the protagonist) is very clever. Very suspenseful!
I read an ARC of this debut novel and was totally drawn in to the story. Told through a journal, the novel details Christine Lucas's attempts to recapture her memories lost each night when she goes to sleep. For twenty years after an event puts her into a coma she loses her memories each day, awakening to an almost blank slate. Daily she has to be told who she is, how much times has passed and what has taken place in all the missing years. A harrowing tale because the reader doesn't know (along with Christine) what is real and what isn't. Is she having a break-through?
Is her husband always telling her the truth? Is the doctor she secretly sees helping her or does he have his own agenda?
The tension builds to a surprise ending that makes it so you can't turn the pages fast enough.
Hope this author has more great stories to get on paper.
4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy suspense..., April 1, 2011
This was an entertaining thriller with an interesting middle-aged heroine. Christine Lucas wakes every morning without any memories -- she remembers nothing of her childhood, young college days, married life, or even the mundane details of yesterday that preceded her going to bed the night before today. Some sort of calamitous event has caused her to not only have amnesia, but the inability to form any new short term memories as well. Each day dawns and finds her uncertain as to who she is or how she came to be in the house she shares now with a man who claims to be her husband, Ben. As the story starts, Christine is jarred by a ringing phone. The caller is Dr. Ed Nash and he claims he is trying to help her discover her past while also admitting that he's going to do a research study of her case. He encourages her to write in a journal each day, recording the events and thoughts she has. They both hope that this exercise will help Christine recover her history and lead her to understand her situation and experience some kind of life in the present. It's during the course of this activity that Christine begins to have flashes of what she believes are people and events in the years leading to the current time -- the problem is that she can never be quite sure if she is actually rediscovering her own memories or confabulating - making up a history to replace what she doesn't really remember. As she writes in her journal, Christine also discovers that Ben seems to be lying to her -- is he trying to protect her from feeling the pangs of loss and the pain of not being present in her past? Or is it something more sinister? And who really is Dr. Nash and why doesn't he want Ben to know that he's treating her?
The narrative moves along, unfolding with deliberate pacing as the tension builds to a somewhat anticipated climax as Christine is pulled inexorably to the ultimate revelations. The conclusion is somewhat unsatisfying and not completely unpredictable, but I do read a lot of books of this type and made some accurate guesses. That's not to say the book isn't enjoyable, it is -- and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a well written and suspenseful mystery. I look forward to the film adaptation as well.
I picked this one up because it was on the "Hot" list for book clubs and I am inherently interested in what other book clubs are reading. (That's a lie; I'm interested in books, period). I was not disappointed; this one riveted me and yes, the ending contained the customary twist that was unexpected in how the author presented it. I enjoyed this one cover-to-cover and by the time I finished the first section I knew I wouldn't be able to put it down.
Christine's life has been essentially taken from her because of a traumatic event that happened twenty years ago and she tries desperately to piece together the missing years, the missing people, etc. However, there is a huge problem: she forgets everything she's learned once she falls asleep. This problematic situation does seem to have a remedy and she pursues it and that creates another problem and things get complicated and discoveries are made…you'll love following Christine's story as she learns to love her husband again and little memories slip back here and there. And she learns there is more to her story than she thinks or remembers or is told - or is there?
What this story does for the reader is even more interesting - and somewhat traumatic, too. For me, it made me think about the process of forgetting and things I'd like to forget and it made me remember things I thought I *had* forgotten. But you can't make yourself forget things. It doesn't work like that. Instead, we forget the things we don't want to. Memory clouds the thrill of first time we met the love of our life, the surreal moment our love proposed, our first kiss, the time our love first told us he/she loved us. Why do these memories get fuzzy but the painful ones are crystal clear? Is it because we wear them out from repeated recall? It doesn't seem fair. Is it apparent, now, why this book is a hit with book clubs?
Before I Go to Sleep is one of the best things I've read this year. From the very first page, I knew it was going to be one of those books you just can't put down, and S.J. Watson did not disappoint.
This tense thriller introduces Christine, an amnesiac whose memory resets every night while she sleeps. Some mornings, the 47-year-old wakes thinking she's a college student -- on others, she rouses and believes she is even younger. She never remembers her husband, Ben, who seems to love her very much and who has built his life around her care and comfort. She has no memory of her career accomplishments or what has happened to all her family and friends. Most of her adult life is a total blank slate.
Then, Christine get a phone call from a man who claims to be her doctor, and who urges her to go to the closet, open a shoebox, and recover a diary she has been keeping without Ben's knowledge, as part of treatment she's sought behind her husband's back. Through her own journal entries, we as readers learn Christine's secrets as she does, and unravel the mystery of her condition -- and her strange marriage -- through flashbacks of recovered memories.
I loved this book, and can't believe it is a first effort by the author. Watson masterfully doles out small details of Christine's life and meticulously builds a mystery with a twist I truly didn't see coming. And that's my favorite kind.
Christine is very likeable and sympathetic as a main character -- although she's not reliable, I wanted to believe her, and I was frantic to put together the pieces of her story. It's creative and very "different" from most other books in this genre, and I look forward to recommending it to friends who like a suspenseful mystery as much as I do.
I hope this is only the first of many books by Watson, and will eagerly await her next release.
Loved this book!!! Tense, psycological thriller that kept me up until 3 AM to finish it. Sincerely hope this author writes more - I checked and this is her only book - :( It is creepy, scary and wonderful. D.