Book Review: Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
Mind = blown. That pretty much sums up my thoughts on this book. Before I Go to Sleep is mystery/thriller that will literally keep you guessing until the very end.
Christine is a middle aged woman who wakes each morning a blank slate. I don’t mean this in the self help “every day is a new day” sort of way. She literally is a blank slate, she has no memories. As a result of a horrific tragedy 20+ years ago, Christine has a very rare form of amnesia in which she can retain no memories.
Most days she wakes believing she is in her early twenties, other days she believes she is still a child. Each morning her husband Ben patiently talks her through her past tragedy, explains her diagnosis, and attempts to provide clarity and reassurances with family pictures and scrapbooks documenting their marriage and life together.
At the urging of a psychologist, Dr. Nash who is bent on assisting Christine in retrieving her memories, or at the very least, begin to retain new ones, she begins keeping a journal every day. Over the course of several weeks, Christine reconnects with (what she believes is) a dear friend, Claire, and learns that the “accident” resulting in her condition may not have been an accident at all, but may be the result of something much more sinister. Christine isn’t sure what is truth and what is lie, who she can trust and who she can’t (including her own mind) but she must make sense of it all, before it’s too late (sounds ominous, I know).
This book had me guessing the ENTIRE time. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, I was thrown a curveball. I oscillated between thinking each of the three supporting characters in Christine’s story had nefarious intentions, then changing my mind…again….and again.
Having such an unreliable main character really made trying to figure out “who dun it” that much more difficult and made the ending that much more spectacular. I definitely recommend this read if you are into mystery/thrillers, it won’t disappoint!
P.S. A movie was also made about this book in 2014. Of course when I finished the book I raced to Netflix and watched it that night. Let me go ahead and save you an hour and 31 minutes of your life- don’t watch it. It’s garbage. I know I am sort of a book snob and pretty often look down on the movie adaptations of books, but this one was particularly painful. You’re welcome. Now go use that hour and 31 minutes to read something good!