Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson
Release Date – June 14, 2011 (paperback edition)
Publisher Website - HarperCollins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages - 358 pages
My Rating- 4.5/5
**Kobo gift card purchase/Gift card given from Kobo Canada**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
"As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I’m still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me. . . ."Christine wakes up each morning without her memories. She doesn't recognize the man beside her, the house she wakes up in, or even her reflection in the mirror. S.J. Watson takes a chilling concept and laces it with tension, and lies to create a fast paced thriller.
Memories define us.
So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?
Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love—all forgotten overnight.
And the one person you trust may be telling you only half the story.
Welcome to Christine's life.
So much of this novel is a spoiler. It's laid out in a certain way because it allows the reader to unravel things with the narrator, and full immerse themselves. It works better if you know as little as possible about the storyline other than what is in the above synopsis.
Things in Christine's life quickly take a sinister turn when it becomes clear that someone in her life is lying to her. Is it the man she wakes up to each day? The doctor who is helping Christine keep her own secrets? With each growing realization it becomes evident that nobody is free from suspicion, and trust is hard to come by. It creates an atmosphere where the tension is high, and danger could be lurking everywhere. It could also be a product of Christine's illness, and her mind filling in unpleasant gaps. The plot twists, and turns keep the reader on their toes until the very final reveal.
Taking out the fantastic thriller element the novel still provides plenty to send shivers down your spine. The entire notion of Christine's reality is crushing. It would be excruciatingly frustrating to wake up each morning with little memories, and Christine's character sharply reflects this. It's our experiences that define and shape us. Without them, who are we? It's a daunting prospect to consider.
Christine's narrative voice is, of course, unreliable. It shapes the stories viewpoint in a very specific way. It's like looking at something really close up with a telescope and slowly pulling back to see the larger picture. It's murky and unclear at first what is going on but each pieces creates a clearer picture. It reminded me a lot of the movie Momento, where memory loss also played a big part. Her lack of true identity made character an easy one to 'step into' in terms of placing yourself in their position. It wasn't hard to imagine yourself in a similar situation, and that's what made the story work so wonderfully.
A pulse pounding, gripping mystery in which everyone is suspect, the truth is more dangerous than expected, and the heroine is unreliable. A page turner that will certainly keep you up at night, and leave you second guessing everything.