Book Review: ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ by S.J. Watson

Book Title: Before I Go to Sleep

Author: S.J. Watson

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Summary: Christine wakes up in an unfamiliar room next to an unfamiliar man; it is when she looks in the mirror and realises she is unfamiliar to herself that she discovers the room is her own bedroom, shared with her husband – the man sleeping beside her – and this morning confusion takes place every day. Christine has amnesia and wakes every morning thinking she is still single and in her twenties. Without her memories, she relies on her husband to fill in the years lost to her memory. It is through Dr. Nash and a hidden journal, however, that she tries to piece together the memories her husband isn’t sharing.

Favourite Scene: I loved the opening scene – right from the beginning you simply become Christine.

Favourite Character: Dr. Nash. I appreciate his efforts and his integrity when it comes to how he treats and nurtures Christine.

Review: I stupidly opened this book one night with the intention of reading “just a few chapters” before going to bed. Around 1am I put it down and let out a long breath. Regardless of the fact that I found it predictable and simplistic in its overall form, it was a damn good read. It drew me in right from the start and didn’t let me go until the final page – there is a lot to be said for a style of writing, quality of characters, and intriguing plot that can keep you so thoroughly engrossed you don’t notice the passage of time.

Psychological Thrillers aren’t the usual books sitting on my bedside table, but I’d read a lot about this one and will admit to having high expectations when I picked it up. I wasn’t disappointed when it came to having a book that I could easily read while tuning out the rest of the world. The writing is fluid and the use of the diary to tell the bulk of the narrative made me feel the same confusion of memory that Christine felt. Like Christine, I found myself trying to remember what she had been told and what she had read in the diary – and what she had rightfully remembered all on her own. The unreliability of Christine as a narrator is perfectly presented, because I found myself to be an unreliable reader – so caught up in her story that I couldn’t even remember things on her behalf.

I highly recommend this book when it comes to wanting a good read and easy entertainment!