Before I Go To Sleep Hardcover – 28 Apr 2011
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"It's exceptionally accomplished...The structure is so dazzling it almost distracts you from the quality of the writing."--Guardian
"S J Watson's debut doesn't put a foot wrong... brilliantly simple... Unforgettable."--Financial Times Weekend
"Before I Go To Sleep is an astounding piece of work... a tour de force, a haunting tapestry woven from a single woman’s ragged thoughts, desperate to make sense of the past she constantly forgets... This is writing of the highest calibre."--Chris Simmons, crimesquad.com
"A taut and terrifying novel, with a grip of steel."--Woman & Home
"An unsettling, compulsive thriller...A truly gripping read."--Marie Claire
Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?
An original, haunting, and deeply chilling debut.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is based around Christine, who loses her memory when she goes to sleep and has to start afresh everytime she wakes up. It's quite thrilling seeing it from her own eyes as each day she wakes up and can't figure out where she is, and everything has to be explained to her by a man who carefully explains to her that he's her husband. She begins to keep a journal, writing down what happens to her each day as recommended by her doctor who calls her each day to remind her of her journal and where it's hidden. Each day she reads what's previously written in her journal, and is extremely confused as she can never remember the previous entries.
As the book progresses you begin to realise something isn't right, and you know who it must involve but you can't figure out why. I had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next, and it was a brilliant read. I highly recommend this book!
The premise is a very interesting one. Christine wakes every morning in a strange bed next to a strange man, with no recollection of how she got there. But the bed is her own, and the man is her husband - and when she looks in the mirror she is somehow twenty years older than she had expected. Thanks to an accident when she was 29, Christine goes to sleep every night and has her memory erased. (Yes, this does sound like 50 First Dates, but I assure you that this storyline is darker and more thrilling than a RomCom!) Her loving husband patiently explains her situation to her every day, and her doctor tries to unlock whatever is keeping her memories hostage in her brain. I don't want to give too much away aside from that, but needless to say it emerges that not everyone is telling Christine the whole truth.
This book had me absorbed from the very first chapter. You are immediately drawn into Christine's situation, experiencing her confusion, and imagining yourself in the same nightmare. I don't get as much opportunity to read during the week as I would like, but I managed to read this in two and a half days because I was glued to it. I disagree with the reviewers who said the ending was a little too neat - I sat gasping and exclaiming for the last 60 pages or so, having heart palpitations as the story came together. An absolute must-read and a fantastic achievement for the author - I believe the film rights have already been sold.
BIGS is poorly written - 'she turned to him, he turned to her'; I'm amazed they weren't perpetually dizzy - and the inconsistencies and absurdities in the plot were gob-smackingly awful. It reads exactly as it is - a first attempt by someone who has been 'taught' how to write.
SPOILER ALERT - if in spite of this review you still intend buying this book, look away now.
No-one would write in a journal as Chrissy has written - that much detail? No way. Could anyone actually believe that a patient as seriously compromised as this would be allowed to discharge themselves and live without medical supervision? Could you believe that Chrissy could actually have been handed over to 'someone' without any checks being made? Can you believe that a medical professional could behave the way Dr Nash does throughout? Why didn't Adam realise for 4 months that his mother was AWOL? Why, when Claire asked Chrissy to describe Ben, did she first ask about the colour of his hair and not the fact that he had a bloody great SCAR ON HIS CHEEK??? Worst of all, if Claire knew about Chrissy's 'affair', including where they used to meet, why did the police not pursue her lover as a possible culprit in her attack? Clearly they weren't discreet, would he have been so difficult to find?
And there are more - so many more- gaping great flaws, but I wasted time reading it, I don't want to waste any more time reviewing it.
Ok if you've read this far and haven't already bought the book, take my advice - don't. Want a really good 'psychological thriller'? 'We need to Talk About Kevin'
An excellent first novel which I thoroughly recommend.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Kept me engrossed the whole way through the book. Excellent storyline. Can't wait for the next publishing by a fantastic authorPublished 1 day ago by dawna goodman
Enjoyable enough for a very easy read. Would be good for a holiday. I didn't find it repetitive but saw the ending coming from pretty much the first few pages.Published 1 day ago by occasional worm
Very good book, one of those which you don't want to put down till it's finished with as great ending, though not what I expected ,very well written would recommend it to family... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Mrs. J. Kerr
Intriguing from the start, this book was an addictive read. Parts were really gripping, a definite page turner for me.Published 14 days ago by sharon