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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

SJ Watson - Before I go to Sleep

review by showhost april 2014
What a gripping book this was!  Every time I put it down I couldn't wait to get back to reading it, especially towards the end. It was a Richard and Judy galaxy bookclub shortlist 2012.  If this author writes another book I'll be first in the queue to read it!
What an original idea for a novel.  The main character Christine had an accident and has since suffered with a strange amnesia.  She wakes up each morning with no memory of the past 25 years, she thinks she is still a young 20 something until she sees her reflection in the mirror!  Whatever she remembers during the day from what she is told by others she would forget again when she wakes up the next day.  So each morning she wakes up to this strange man in her bed, the man who tells her he is her husband and has been for over 20 years.  
There are photos around the mirror in the bathroom, photos of her and her husband, of her as a child, to remind her of who she is. 
Her life began to change a little when she started seeing a Doctor Nash who said he may be able to help her. He advised her to write down each day all her memories, and that each morning he would ring her and remind her to read her journal. Also not to tell her husband she was keeping the journal or seeing the doctor.  Christine struggles to answer some key questions, who she can trust, are people lying to her or telling the truth, is she going mad, making things up that aren’t true?

The journal starts to help and as the story progresses more memories of her life and the incident that caused her amnesia start to reach a climatic ending.
I found myself wanting to get back to the book, to find out what was going to happen to her - no! Don't go, don't trust him!
There were a few pages that I skimmed read as she repeated what she remembers each day.  Also, the explanation at the end of who and why I thought could have been better.
I can understand how it won crime writers award for best debut novel and galaxy award for crime thriller of the year.  The best book I have read in 2014 so far.

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