Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Book Review: Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson

Pros: sympathetic protagonist, good pacing, tension builds to a strong climax

Cons: some plot twists are predictable

Every morning Christine Lucas wakes up next to a stranger: her husband, Ben.  An accident has robbed her of the ability to remember the past 20 years and to retain new memories.

She quickly discovers she has been keeping secrets from Ben, in the form of Dr. Nash, a doctor trying to help her regain her memories and a diary she's been keeping for the past few weeks.  A diary that has, 'DON'T TRUST BEN', scratched into the front page. 

This was a quick read that pulls you in from page one.  The plight of a woman who has no idea who she is, who learns things each day and then forgets everything, is gut-wrenching.  

Ben is alternately a sympathetic and sinister character.  Christine discovers he lies to her, but isn't sure if it's to keep her from feeling grief over the events of the past or for another purpose.

I was able to guess a few things that would happen, but the climax was strong and contained a few twists I didn't predict.


Karin said...

got that on hold for me at the library. thanks.

Jessica Strider said...

I don't read general fiction that often. This one, I couldn't put down. Hope you like it.

Karin said...

Yes, i liked it. It was more a thriller than a look at brain injuries, which have interested me even before i discovered the ocd.

i think there should have been an epilogue to cement or contradict the ending to the book. other than that it had great pacing- i started it yest. and finished it just now. (along with doing other things i had to do-like sleep and laundry). thanks for the review.

do you have any ideas why i am signed into your acct (and a few others) automatically under google and everywhere else i need to post under anonymous?

Jessica Strider said...

Glad you enjoyed the book!

I know that if I'm signed into my google account (gmail) I'm automatically signed in when posting to blogger. I always have to sign in for other types of blogs (word press, live journal, etc.).

Karin said...

i found a book at the library (just by luck, not by looking it up) called the man who lost himself, by june callwood. it's about a man who loses both his past and his present memories. I'm only a third thru the book, so i don't know exactly how it ends but it is an interesting read. as a mormon this stuff always disturbed me as how can you be 'tested' when after a brain injury you come out a different person with a different personality too. do you get judged on the before or the after you? if your 'socialized' self turns into a cranky irritable selfish person because of a brain injury how is that fair in the test of life? now it's just a fascinating topic to see what a brain is and isn't capeable of doing or fixing.

Sverige said...

This book is a psychological thriller that will have you turning the pages well after bedtime. It is obvious in the first few pages that something isn't quite right. Should she, or shouldn't she trust her husband?