Review: Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson

Black Swan, August 2014.

Black Swan, August 2014.

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 love – all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. Welcome to Christine’s life.

This book had been recommended to me by so many people. I am always in two minds about a book many people tell me ‘I must read.’ I am then worried that it won’t meet expectation (this is also why I stay away from most nominated films during Oscar season. I find that the hype sometimes ruins the book or film.) I shouldn’t have worried.

Before I Go To Sleep focuses around Christine, who following an accident years earlier, looses her memory every night when she goes to sleep. Every morning, she has to learn who she is all over again from her husband, a man she doesn’t know. Eventually, she begins to keep a journal and everything begins to unravel around her. Like Christine, you begin to realise something isn’t quite right but you can’t quite figure out what.

I love books like this where there are puzzles to solve. The only small thing I had to get my head around was, with having started to read this around the time I heard a lot about the movie, it was hard to imagine the characters in any other way than the actors who were playing them on screen. No disrespect to Mark Strong (he’s a great actor,) but I imagined the doctor being a little younger.

It’s told from Christine’s point of view so I really felt like I was inside her head. Yes, it may get a little repetitive as there are a few chapters of her having to go through the same information but also felt that it lended to her confusion and added to the tension and each time, you get another snippet of information. This book was so good. I found myself constantly saying, just one more chapter, one more page. I love books that have you guessing right up to the end and the twist in this book was great. A great psychological debut. I am looking forward to seeing more from S.J Watson.


(Before I Go To Sleep is available from most major book shops or click here to view on Amazon.)

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Novel Kicks
About Novel Kicks/Laura...
Novel Kicks was founded in 2009 and is run by Laura who is currently living in Hampshire, and lives with husband, Chris and her cat, Buddy. She would love to be a writer. She’s trying to write the novel she thinks so much about. She’s loved reading and writing since ‘Creative Writing’ classes in primary school. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything she can get her hands on, she loves reading, dancing like a loon, and watching Project Runway and Ugly Betty (her two TV guilty pleasures.) She also has an obsession with chocolate and Jammie Dodgers.

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