Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel by S.J. Watson Harper Collins, June 14, 2011
Can you imagine if your memory was erased when you fell asleep every night? Every single thing that you did no matter how important or mundane is just gone? This is the life of Christine. When she awakens every morning she finds that she does not know where she is. She relies on this “stranger” who is her husband, Ben, to recount the details for her and old photographs to guide the way. Christine is an amnesiac due to a horrible accident.
However, one morning when Christine wakes up she finds that she has been keeping a journal to record events of the day. According to her doctor this is to help her remember important events that she would otherwise forget. Her doctor is hoping that someday she will be able to unlock her memories. The most startling part of the journal is the day that she opens it to find the words “Don’t trust Ben”. If she cannot trust her husband or her own memory, who can she trust?
This is a taunt, psychological thriller. It builds slowly to a boil reminiscent of an old Hitchcock film. It might not have the blood and guts and big actions scenes of some books these days, but it has something scarier…losing your mind. Who would not be terrified to have their memories erased each night? To have to relearn basic things every single day? And then add to that a journal entry where you clearly wrote to not trust your own husband? What I loved about this book was the build-up. I couldn’t wait to get to the end to find out what happened, but enjoyed the ride so much. It is well-written, unusual and downright scary at times. Just when I thought I had the whole novel figured out it took a turn that I never expected. Well worth the read if you enjoy a thriller!