Friday, July 8, 2011

Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson

Title/Author: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson
Publisher/Date published: HarperCollins, June 1st 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "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 unbelievable it seems."

Oh my gosh, it would be so scary to wake up every day and not know where you are, why there is a man in bed beside you you can't remember meeting and then finding out that you're more than 20 years older than you thought you'd be...

This is what Christine faces every day. And it's scary. And it forces her to depend on Ben, the man she wakes next to every day, who says he is her husband. Though she has no memories of a marriage or their relationship whatsoever. Given that every day she's told or tells herself through her diary what's happened to her, I think she copes pretty well. Sort of like the movie Fifty First Dates, only creepy. VERY creepy.

Throughout the whole novel I had the feeling something was wrong, and well, of course given the summary something IS definitely wrong. And I kept on guessing what it was, and yes, I also got it right somewhere in those guesses. If I ever develop a mental illness, I think it would be extreme paranoia; I see conspiracies everywhere.

I had a hard time not skipping to the end to find out what had really happened the night Christine became an amnesiac. OMG, it took so loooooong to get to the point where I knew! I mean, really long! And sometimes the plot barely seemed to crawl forward. But in the end, slowly but surely, we got there and I loved it! It was so creepy! I don't read creepy books often, because well, I get scared easily, but I really enjoyed this one. Even though the suspense sometimes turned more into a sort of stretched thin little band that made me want to just skip ahead 20 or so pages.

The plot is wonderfully complicated and I really enjoyed discovering everything that had happened. BUT this book also made me sigh in frustration when it happened so slowly!
So I'd say: read it if you like intricate, suspenseful stories, but not if you want instant gratification.

My rating: 3,5 stars

1 comment:

  1. Now I'm intrigued, it sounds like a very creepy 50 first dates!
    And thanks for the warning about the slowish plot, it drives me nuts but it might be worth braving it.