Review: Before I Go to Sleep

Before I Go to Sleep
Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This works on the same premise as the film 50 First Dates but is far more sinister. A woman wakes up in a strange bedroom, next to a strange man. He tells her he is her husband and they’ve been together for years. An accident caused a weird form of amnesia and though Christine can remember things during the day, as soon as she goes to sleep her memories disappear completely. Her doctor recommends she keep a diary and she starts writing her life story, as told to her by her husband, so that every day she can “remember” who she is. This technique seems to work and her memories start to return – but what she remembers and what her husband tells her don’t quite seem to be the same …

This was an interesting take on a well used mechanism but it didn’t quite work for me. The biggest issue was that every day Christine reads back through the journal in odd moments when her husband Ben is out. Though this would be quite possible during the week when he’s at work, she also managed to read the entire thing at weekends without him finding out – which just doesn’t seem possible as the journal gets longer and longer and her time alone seems to get shorter and shorter! This point aside, this was a well written thriller that has a sense of foreboding throughout that only increes as Christine’s life unravels to the shocking ending.

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