Before I Go To Sleep, by S.J Watson.. let me just say.. this book raped my mind.. in a good way.
This book is based (mostly) on journal entries from the protagonist, Christine, who had severe head trauma and memory loss. She would wake up with no recollection of the days that proceeded the one she was waking up to.
The plot of the story was nothing new.. but in this type of story, execution is key. Watson did a wonderful job with the format of the story.
Christine wakes up every morning next to a man that she believes she has never met before in her life. Every morning she has to be told what she has done with her life and what she enjoys. She has to trust the man that she wakes up with. His name is Ben, and he is her husband. When she walks into the bathroom every morning she sees pictures that are taped up on the mirror. They are mostly of her and Ben. When she looks at the photographs she can recognize that it is, in fact, her in those photos. But then she has only one question: how did she become this way?
She is approached by a doctor that gives her the hope that, with his help, she could possibly get some of her memory back. She does not tell Ben about this doctor since she has had many failed attempts at mental physical therapy. Every morning her doctor calls her to tell her about the journal that she been writing in and where she is hiding it. Every morning Christine reads her journal and slowly starts to remember things from her past; both long ago and just yesterday.
When Christine begins getting these memories she then realizes that she has many more unanswered questions. She wants to know how she REALLY got to be injured and what happened in the twenty years since the ‘accident’. She starts looking to speak to the people from her past in order to get the answers that she is so desperate for.
Christine’s sanity and identity are assaulted every time she wakes up but something is horribly wrong beyond her amnesia and how it has wrecked her life. How Christine manages to uncover the devastating and shocking truth despite her inability to rely on her own recollection is a marvel of storytelling. Before I Go to Sleep is not a perfect, airtight book – it has some logical holes – but I never saw what was coming; I am not joking, my mind felt like it was raped!
I won’t ruin the end of this story in case there are some people out there who want to indulge. It almost becomes predictable towards the end of the book.. but it is still definitely worth picking up.