Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Before I Go To Sleep

Every morning Christine wakes up with her memory wiped clean. Some days she can remember her twenties, some days she's still a child. She wakes up next to a man she does not know in a room she doesn't recognise. When a doctor approaches her wishing to study her amnesia she starts a journal. He phones her each day to tell her of its existence. Underneath her name she has written “DON'T TRUST BEN”.

It's been some time since I've read a book that I really don't want to put down. I stayed up later reading it and was frustrated when my lunch break ended just as the climax was approaching. It truly is a gripping read. At first I felt for Christine's husband, Ben. To have to live with the woman you love and not be recognised. To have to explain her life to her each day and deal with her grief and confusion is heartbreaking. Then those words in her journal, her advice not to trust him, arouses suspicion and he starts to seem too good to be true.

The mystery is Christine's missing memory. The crime is the event which caused it. Whilst I had a pretty good idea of what was going on about midway, it's not obvious and the need to be proved right and to find out what happens to Christine, will keep you reading at a brisk pace!

Her situation is truly terrifying and it is an unsettling read. Memory is what makes us us. The doctor does explain she is a rare case but for those that are sceptical a quick google will reveal numerous accounts of amnesia suffers, some with hard to believe conditions. In his author's note, SJ Watson mentions two real life cases that he based Christine's condition on, Clive Wearing and Henry Gustav Molaison, and the accounts of her early days are clearly drawing from these. However the fact that she can remember whole days appears to be a plot device rather thank something well documented but the mind is a mysterious thing so it could easily be possible. I think if you can just accept her condition, you will be transfixed by this fantastic debut novel.

Before I Go To Sleep is now available in regular paperback as well as ebook formats in the UK and is published by Black Swan. Many thanks to Transworld for sending me a copy to review. The book has an official hashtag so if you'd like to follow discussions on Twitter use #B4IGTS.





I am trialling adding linky lists to some of my reviews. If you have read this book and have posted a review anywhere on the internet, please feel free to add your link to the list.

10 comments:

  1. There has been so much hype around this book, I am glad to see that it lives up to it. I think I will read it in time....

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  2. I loved this one too Ellie, have used your linky thing too

    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

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  3. Somebody has recommended this book to me after reading Forgotten by Cat Patrick. So I've added it to my To Buy list.

    Great review.

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  4. This was one of my book purchases after Christmas. I was planning to read it next but if it is as good as you say then I might put it off until the end of next week. Have too much work for next week and can't risk not being able to put down a book, lol. I'm looking forward to it though.

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  5. I loved this book, and added my review to your linky. I definitely love your cover better than the one that was out when I read the book.

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  6. This has been a much lauded book since it's release, I am hoping to read it eventually

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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  7. Wow! I had never heard of this book... But it sounds amazing! I'd love to get my hands on it!

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  8. It sounds really good. Amazing story. I can't even imagine how horrible it would be to wake up every day and have no idea who you are, or what has happen.
    Artemis

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  9. Sounds like I want to read this book. :)

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