Thursday, June 30, 2011

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP by S.J. Watson

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.

It seems like there are a lot of suspense book dealing with memory (or the lack of it) lately. For example, Alice Laplante's TURN OF MIND.  BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP offers a new spin on this theme with a 47-year-old woman named Christine who has no short-term memory. Each morning when she wakes up, she has lost a good portion of her memory. Sometimes, she believes she is still a young child.  Sometimes, she remembers the early days of her marriage. She never seems to remember anything after the age of 30.   It appears that Christine experienced a traumatic event in her thirties that caused her memory loss. Christine's husband has come up with a way to help her with her disability similar to the method employed in the film "50 FIRST DATES."  When she enters her bathroom each day, the mirror is covered in photographs that chronicle her life since her accident.  There is also a scrapbook filled with photos and mementos of the life she has forgotten. When Christine answers her cell phone one day after her husband leaves for work, she discovers yet another memory aid.  It seems she has been secretly seeing a specialist behind her husband's back who encourages her to keep a hidden journal.  This journal becomes her lifeline as she turns to it each day for answers to her many questions.  As Christine's memory begins to improve through her work with the specialist and as her journal becomes filled with more and more information, Christine begins to suspect that she isn't being told the truth.  As the book progresses, more and more secrets come to light as Christine fights to learn the truth of what really happened to her.

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP is had to put down. Watson does an excellent job conveying how unmoored Christine feels with her lack of memory.  And how vulnerable she is. It is difficult to know whom to trust. The journal provides an interesting lifeline for Christine and helps to move the story along.  I couldn't wait to finish the book and find out the truth about Christine's accident.  The book is full of suspense.  However, I was little disappointed with the ending. It took an enormous suspension of disbelief.  The ending was too tidy after all the buildup. Still, it made for a great vacation read.

BOTTOM LINE: Recommended. If you can get beyond the partial silliness of the some of the ending, this is a great suspense read.  I can see it being made into a movie.  It is easy to get lost in the story and it is hard to put the bood down.

1 comment:

Cozy in Texas said...

Good list.
Ann