Monday, 13 August 2012

Before I Go To Sleep Review

Before I Go To Sleep
-       S.J. Watson

Publisher: Black Swan
Christine wakes up every morning in an unfamiliar bed with an unfamiliar man. She looks in the mirror and sees an unfamiliar, middle- aged face. And every morning, the man she has woken up with must explain that he is Ben, he is her husband, she is forty-seven years old, and a terrible accident two decades earlier decimated her ability to form new memories.But it’s the phone call from a Dr. Nash, a neurologist who claims to be working with Christine without her husband’s knowledge, that directs her to her journal, hidden in the back of her closet. For the past few weeks, Christine has been recording her daily activities—tearful mornings with Ben, sessions with Dr. Nash, flashes of scenes from her former life—and rereading past entries, relearning the facts of her life as retold by the husband she is completely dependent upon. As the entries build up, Christine asks many questions. What was life like before the accident? Why did she and Ben never have a child? What has happened to Christine’s best friend? And what exactly was the horrific accident that caused such a profound loss of memory? Every day, Christine must begin again the reconstruction of her past. And the closer she gets to the truth, the more un- believable it seems...

Every morning Christina wakes up in a strange bed, next to a strange man. When she looks in the mirror she sees a reflection she doesn’t recognise...wrinkles around the eyes, older hands – what happened to her youth? Her potential? Christina struggles to form new memories and even accessing some old memories is a struggle. Christina struggles with this every day. Asking the same questions over and over.

This is a pretty emotional book. It’s impossible to read without wondering what you would do in the same position...? When all you have is today and today’s memories. In another writer’s hands this could be repetitive to read but SJ Watson allows us as readers to have a wider view than Christina who has to read her journal again and again everyday to know what is going on. Christina’s daily emotional journey is heart breaking and yet chilling. Having to rely on what people around you tell you every day is a huge step of trust – and one I’m not sure I could ever take!

There is a compulsive element to the writing making you want to know what happens next. It’s curious to see how your feeling to the people in Christina’s life and her discoveries change over time from suspicion to trust to sympathy and back to suspicion again. There is a melodic element to the story – in fact it’s almost like a full bard’s song at time and I was anxious to know how it would end. This is a great summer read – perfect for those you don’t read much and a cut above the average for those who read more often!

Recommended for fans of SJ Bolton and Robert Goddard. 8 out of 10.


  1. This does sound like a very emotional read and I can imagine you desperately want to keep on reading just to know what happens! Thanks for sharing! :)
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  2. I agree, this was a compulsive book that I couldn't put down. Once I thought about it though, there seemed to be a lot of plot holes and it kind of bugged me. A fun read though :)

    1. I have to confess Sam, since I finished the book I keep thinking of plot holes that I ignored while reading! There's a lot now that doesn't make sense but I did enjoy it a lot at the time! :-)

  3. Now this sounds chilling..what happened!? I so want to know that now.

  4. Talk about living in the now! In some cases this wouldn't be bad, but I would hate to forget important things about others.

  5. Like Blodeuedd I want to know now what caused it! It sounds emotional and a little bit scary!