Christine suffers from a rare form of amnesia after an accident from many years ago. Each day, she wakes up with no memory whatsoever of the days gone by. Each day, her identity and her past experiences are a mystery to her and each day her husband reminds her of what her life is like with painstaking repetition. As she undergoes treatments with a doctor, Christine begins to wonder if her loving husband is telling her the full story.
Reminiscent of the 2000 movie Memento, Christine’s life is pieced back together before our eyes. Mostly told through her own journal entries, we learn about her past at the same time she is. I was very curious as to how this whole book would play out. Would it be repetitive, having to re-live each day with the main character? No, not at all. Watson is extremely good, and careful, about not reiterating too much of the same thing.
The growing sense of urgency that is established also played really well into the narrative. We needed to find out what happened to her, we had to find out what these other characters’ motivations were. Seeing the world through an amnesiac’s eyes, is not only frustrating but also eye-opening. Even without the catalyst of an accident or traumatic event, many families that have loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s go through a similarly repetitive motion, potentially many times a day. Getting a real sense of Christine’s confusion with each day that she wakes up not knowing who or where she is, it’s a horrifying thought to imagine someone going through.
Never knowing quite who to trust, Before I Go To Sleep leads the readers on a page-turning mystery that will leave you racing to find out what happens. What I initially thought was a regular drama, this book ended up being one of suspense and mystery. I had already heard many great things about it, but it still surpassed my expectations. Fantastic read.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5/5 stars)
Available: June 14, 2011