Book Review: Before I Go To Sleep
by S. J. Watson
Published by HarperCollins Publishers, 2011
From the book jacket: "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 be telling you only half the story. Welcome to Christine's life."
Review: Honestly, who wouldn't be instantly drawn to a book with that summary? It was the first book I picked up at the library, and I'm so glad I did.
Christine wakes up to find herself in in a strange house, in bed with a man who is apparently her husband, and over twenty-years older than she expected to be. Her husband Ben calmly explains her situation: when they were only a few years married, she had gotten into a horrible accident that left her with permanent memory loss and damage. When she goes to sleep, she will lose all memory of the past day.
After Ben leaves for work, Christine receives a phone call from a Dr. Nash--a doctor Ben does not know about. The doctor delivers to Christine a journal that she has been writing in for the past few weeks. This journal is Christine's only connection to her past, and as she reads, she discovers some haunting secrets and mysteries.
The great thing about a character with amnesia is that the story, characters and readers are forever and always in a world of perpetual unknowing. What is true? Did he really do that? Did I actually even write this journal in the first place? From the moment the book starts we are forced to question everything and everything, and that is why I loved Before I Go To Sleep so much. Just when I thought all had been revealed and was settled, there'd be a new incredible twist. I love a thrilling story, and Watson's novel did not fail to deliver.
Final Rating: 4/5
S. J. Watson's site
Before I Go To Sleep on goodreads
For a lighter story (less blood, deception and heartbreak) featuring a protagonist with amnesia, I suggest Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin and Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella.