BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP by S.J. Watson

Vacation read #3 was Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson. This is a psychological thriller – not the type of book I usually read, but I had heard good things about it.

Watson Before I Go To Sleep is about Christine, a 47 year-old amnesiac woman who wakes up every morning with no long- or short-term memory due to something that happened to her when she was 29. Whenever she wakes up, she is shocked to learn that she is no longer in her 20s and that there is a strange man sleeping next to her. And every day, that man explains to her that she was in an accident, that she lost her memory, and that they have been married for years. Every day she begins anew the process of coming to terms with the loss of 18 years of her life, and every day she tries to accept that she is married to a man she doesn’t know.

When the book opens, Christine has been seeing a doctor who has encouraged her to keep a daily journal as a way of triggering her memory and helping her to retain memory from one day to the next. Through her journal, the reader gets to follow along as Christine slowly starts to improve, and as her journal causes her to question what others tell her, including her husband. Who can she trust – the words she has written the day before, which she cannot even remember writing – or the one person who has stood by her during her forgotten years?

It’s a fascinating premise, and the book is taut with suspense and tension. I don’t want to say more about the plot, because doing so would ruin the pleasure of peeling the onion-skin plot of Before I Go To Sleep. It’s a rollercoaster ride of a book, one that someday will translate beautifully to to the big screen.

Upon finishing it, I found a lot of holes in the plot (of course the book is unrealistic to start), and a major twist toward the end somehow felt anticlimactic to me. But I still appreciate the book as a great piece of escapist fiction, one that had my heart racing and my eyes flying over the pages just so that I could get further along and closer to the resolution.

Before I Go To Sleep was a great vacation read. Just don’t read it right before bed, or you may find yourself not getting much sleep.

Thanks to HarperCollins for the review copy.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

6 Comments

  • August 25, 2011 - 11:51 pm | Permalink

    She stole my story!! I’m 47 years old and I am shocked to learn every morning I wake up that I am no longer in my 20s. Oh, wait,there is *no* man sleeping next to me to enlighten me about my past. Call off the IP lawyers.

  • August 26, 2011 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    I don’t mind holes in the plot if the story keeps my attention. This sounds like a page turner!

  • August 27, 2011 - 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I recently won this book and I’m looking forward to reading it when I need an exciting, entertaining rad. Many books like this are somewhet unrealistic and tend to have a few holes but I read them more for the excitement and the thrill!
    Of course, some of the FBI’s wackiest cases seem entirely made up and not everything seems to connect yet those crimes have happened and would make terrific fictional stories! This sounds like the perfect book for vacation reading (as you said!)!

  • August 27, 2011 - 10:24 pm | Permalink

    I would love to read this one, especially because of its vacation read merit. I will have to see if my library has it.

  • Larissa
    August 28, 2011 - 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I thought it was pretty good, but the middle dragged a bit for me. I too could totally see it as a movie! Or, at least, a Lifetime movie. :)

  • Kiki
    August 28, 2011 - 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Sounds really good, and I have noticed some buzz about it…may pick it up from the library.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>