Friday, 13 April 2012

82/111 - Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson

I bought this book around the same time that I bought Go To Sleep by Helen Walsh, which was totally balls. However, I had heard from a couple of friends that this was really good in a We Need To Talk About Kevin kind of way, and it was.

The story is a first person account from Christine, who wakes up each day not knowing where she is. She cannot remember anything from her life past her early twenties, and everything she learns each day, she forgets upon waking the following morning. She lives with her husband Ben, and each day he goes through the same ritual of telling her that he is her husband, that she has been in an accident, etc etc. Each day she is also contacted by a Dr. Nash who has been seeing her for a while as a patient without the knowledge of her husband. Each day he too has to explain who he is, and crucially he explains where she keeps her journal, where she has been keeping a record of their meetings each day. As she starts to piece together details of her life, Christine starts to sense that Ben is keeping things from her.

This was a really suspenseful and compelling book, and there was a point at which I thought it was totally going to lose me in a really stupid way. Throughout the book, Christine is always suspicious of Ben, and there is always a hint that something sinister is going on and that there will be some massive twist. However, towards the end of the book, Christine starts to try and convince herself more and more that Ben cares for her, and that he loves her - this is also what she has heard from the people around her. For a while, I thought that the twist might be that she is just paranoid and the resolution would be that she ends up loving and trusting her husband, which would have been super lame. I can confirm that there is a twist, and it is very gripping.

I read this in one day, and I really enjoyed it, however the book heavily relied upon the plot device that Christine is an unreliable narrator, so I'd be really interested to see what else this author can do.

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