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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Before I Go to Sleep

Before I Go to Sleep
S.J. Watson
Harper, 2011

A woman wakes up next to a stranger and she thinks that she must have had too much to drink the night before, because she doesn’t remember going home with him. When she sees herself in the bathroom mirror, however, she doesn’t recognize the worn, lined face staring back at her. Numb with disbelief, she notices pictures posted in the bathroom of her posing with the man who is still sleeping in the next room. How can this be since the last thing the woman remembers is being young and single?

The man hears her screams and comes to comfort her. She had an accident many years ago, the man explains. He is her husband, Ben, and every morning he must tell her again that she is middle aged and married, because every night she forgets everything she learned that day. After Ben goes to work, Christine gets a call from the therapist she has been secretly seeing because Ben does not approve of her having therapy. Her therapist tells her to go find her journal, hidden in a shoebox in the closet, in order to read all the things she has been able to remember up to that point.

The journal is exactly where her therapist said it would be, but Christine is disturbed to see a warning written in her own handwriting: Do not trust Ben. Soon Christine suspects that her husband has not been telling her the truth about her own past. As she starts to question things, she becomes convinced that his story does not ring true. She is determined to find out what happened to her to make her into this timid, fearful person she has become.

I could not put this book down and couldn’t stop thinking about it after I finished it. The plot may sound familiar but the first person diary format will keep you on the edge of your seat. The writing style is tense, the tone is disturbing, and the ending is totally unpredictable. For once I agree with all the reviewers: this is a must read book that everyone will be talking about.


This is the author’s first novel.

Other titles you may enjoy:

Among the Missing by Morag Joss (2011)
When a bridge collapses in the Highlands of Scotland, dozens of commuters vanish into the freezing river below, swept by the currents toward the sea, and only an amateur video and the bridge’s security camera record their last moments.

The King of Lies by John Hart (2006)
When his father is found murdered, the investigation into the crime uncovers dark family secrets that threaten to unravel the life of North Carolina lawyer Work Pickens and those of his troubled sister and other small-town characters.

Black Out by Lisa Unger (2008)
A woman has to quickly piece together disturbing events--one of which is the murder of her psychologist--before her past comes to claim her future and her daughter.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a winner! I love those "can't put down" books!