The basics: Every morning Christine wakes up and doesn't know where she is, how old she is or who the man next to her his. Her husband Ben explains who she is, who he is, and leaves her lists of things to do while he's at work. Meanwhile, Christine has started keeping a journal to remind herself what she learned and remembered the day before. At the beginning of it, she writes: "DON'T TRUST BEN."
My thoughts: Before I Go to Sleep is a top notch thriller. My mind raced as I read it, and I was eager to unlock the puzzle of if Ben was a model husband trying to protect Christine or if he was keeping things from her, all while I realized this thriller was so rooted in reality, the answer couldn't be an either/or. From Christine's point of view, she wants to know everything about herself. From Ben's point of view, every day is the same; do you want to spend each day reliving the sadness of life and making the one you love sad?
What I loved most about this thriller is, despite being told from Christine's point of view, Watson managed to infuse the motivations of other characters perfectly. When each day begins, the reader knows more than Christine. How will she react? What will she learn today? What will she misunderstand today? These questions were answered differently each day, which made this novel excellent. Although there was a sense of Groundhog Day to it, the days themselves were so unique and illuminating, the pace remained fast.
The verdict: I was completely engaged in this thriller, and I read it in a single day.It was smart, fascinating and mesmerizing. I appreciated the combination of character development and plot twists. I'm already eagerly awaiting the film adaptation of this novel and S.J. Watson's second novel.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Length: 368 pages
Publication date: June 14, 2011
Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Before I Go To Sleep from an independent bookstore, the Book Depository, or Amazon (Kindle version). You may also visit S.J. Watson's website and follow him on Twitter.
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