I'm on a roll this month - a sweep of books being finished! Even better, a sweep of very good ones.
Today's review is Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson, a phychological thriller surrounding Christine, a woman who's memories are erased every time she goes to sleep.
We are introduced to Christine's character as she wakes up one morning, and together we discover her story. As she learns (in quite a shock) that she is middle aged, so do we, as she learns she is married, we too realise the man she woke up next to is her husband, Ben, and as she pieces together the fragments of her past from what her husband tells her, her story begins to unfold to us:
Christine was part of a violent accident which left her incapable of remembering anything beyond her early twenties.
While Ben works, Christine secretly meets with a doctor in an attempt to regain her ability to remember things, and finds out she has supressed a lot more than just the circumstances of her condition.
I found Before I Go To Sleep to be a past paced and fully engrossing novel - from the first few pages I could barely put it down. Secrets were revealed at just the right moment to keep me wanting more and the atmosphere created was tense to the point of exhaustion. As the reader I felt wholly aligned with Christine - whenever I felt I was kept in the dark, I realised it was because the character felt the same - she immediately started searching for answers at the same time I felt like I wanted them!
I felt the portrayal of amnesia as a condition that not only affects the sufferer was very well written. Through Christine's discussions with her doctor, we see amnesia from the point of view of those who surround her - those who help her, those who treat her and those who love her.
I would definitely recommend this book to you if you are after an engrossing read. It's perfect for long journeys, holidays and lazy days in the garden. It is hard to tell you too much about this book without ruining the surprises, but be warned: this book commits one of my pet peeves as mentioned in my "about me" page. I won't tell you which one ;)
A small aside:
This book is quite similar in context to a YA novel called Forgotten by Cat Patrick. For young readers / fans of YA, I very much recommend this novel too - and if you have already read and enjoyed Before I Go To Sleep, I think you'll love it. Please take a look at my earlier review for it on the blog.
amnesia beach before I got to sleep book cat patrick exciting fast paced forgetten good gripping holiday book holiday read memento psychological review s j watson thriller YA
Before I Go To Sleep - Review
Emma is a designer living in Bristol, UK. A self-confessed stationery addict, book lover and TV sci-fi geek, she enjoys sketching zombie-eyed women and finding her next source of inspiration in the pages on the bookshelf.