Before I Go To Sleep: A Novel by SJ Watson

“It’s so difficult, isn’t it? To see what’s going on when you’re in the absolute middle of something? It’s only with hindsight we can see things for what they are.”

(This was a debut novel in June, 2011 and out in paperback a year ago. I read it then and LOVED it!!!)

I was not expecting much from the book as it was a debut novel, but I was incredibly, pleasantly surprised that Before I Go to Sleep is SJ Watson’s first novel. I was not surprised to learn it is in development to be adapted into a movie. A little more research told me that this book had been highly reviewed in Booklist and Kirkus. It has what a story needs to make it a blockbuster, as long as Hollywood doesn’t tweak it too much.

It begins with Christine waking up in a stranger’s bed, unsure of how she got there. She believes she is in her 20’s. But soon she learns that her bed mate is not a stranger, but is instead her husband Ben, that she is middle aged and doesn’t remember a thing from the last 20 or so years. She has a very rare form of amnesia, and day-to-day memories are lost. She slowly processes all this, finding a journal that she writes to herself every day to help her remember. And the biggest shocker in this journal? A note written to herself with the pronunciation–“Don’t Trust Ben!”

Readers unravel the mystery the same way Christine does, with the help of her journal. Every day she starts from square one, discovering what she has learned the days and weeks before with the help of her journal. You start to question reality and how we look at it. What is reality? Is it what people believe goes on or is it what really goes on? Is it the public face we put on or is it what goes on behind closed doors? And do we really want to know what goes on behind closed doors or are we happy with the reality we have created for our friends, our neighbors, ourselves?

This read, and the ride it takes us on, is mesmerizing and exciting, thrilling and gripping. The end does not disappoint. I highly recommend this book, and look forward to more books by Watson.


NOTE: I read pretty much everything in Kindle editions, so from now on I will only tell you what format I’m reading IF it isn’t Kindle. I usually read on my Kindle Fire HD. I try to highlight my favorite quotes as I read, and will add them into my reviews for a little spice.

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