45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2011
First let me say that this book is nothing like Fifty First Dates; the main point being that this is a thriller not a comedy. If you were to compare it to a movie, Momento would be a better choice. Yes, it's another story involving amnesia but it's good.
I read this book in one sitting. The premise is rather simple but the way the story unfolds is completely captivating: a woman wakes up each day unable to remember anything that's happened in the last 20 or so years. The story is her journal as she pieces together her life and dark secrets are slowly revealed. This is a gripping, entertaining and unputdownable thriller and should be the big summer blockbuster this year!!
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
You might have heard about Before I Go To Sleep - the debut novel of S. J. Watson. You might have heard that it's an addicting, incredibly well crafted, finely honed suspenseful tale that will leave you turning pages long into the night.
Everything you've heard? All that and more! What an amazing debut! Rights have been sold in thirty countries already and the film rights are sold as well.
Christine wakes up early and finds herself in bed with a middle aged man. One she doesn't know and can't quite remember how she got there.
"Usually I can remember how I get into situations like this, but not today. There must have been a party, or a trip to a bar or a club. I must have been pretty wasted. Wasted enough that I don't remember anything at all. Wasted enough to have gone home with a man with a wedding ring and hairs on his back."
She creeps into the bathroom, but the hand that flushes the toilet looks wrong. And when she looks into the mirror, there's a middle aged woman looking back. That can't be her - she's twenty five, that woman is at least 45... And then the man wakes up and tells her who she is - his wife. His wife who had a bad accident that left her with head injuries and severe amnesia. She literally cannot remember anything from day to day.
"You've had amnesia for a long time. You can't retain new memories, so you 've forgotten much of what happened to you for your entire adult life. Every day you wake up as if you are a young woman. Some days you wake as if you are a child."
Ben her husband goes off to work. The phone rings and she answers it - it's a man who says he is a doctor treating her and tells her to look in her closet for her journal. And along with Christine, we read what she remembers. Until she goes to sleep and forgets it all again.....
Can you just imagine waking up with no memory and reading a journal you've written with what you've learned or remembered about yourself? Every day. As we get further and further into her journal everyday, the questions arise - should Christine trust the doctor - or her husband?
S. J. Watson has done a phenomonal job at intensifying the suspense and building on it in subtle layers. I was reminded of classic Alfred Hitchcock films. The ratcheting tension is thoroughly delicious. The cover art is great too, with the fogged mirror and the woman peering through. Loved it, loved it, loved it!!
Be warned - you won't be getting too much shut eye yourself until you turn the last page of Before I Go To Sleep.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This is the first book I've read on my brand new KOBO e-reader and what a book it was!!! The mystery and suspense kept me turning page after page. The further the story went along, the faster I read and the quicker I turned the pages. This could very well be one of the TOP books for 2011.
The writing is flawless, the characters well-developed, and the story will just absolutely blow you out of the water.
I felt so bad for Christine. Imagine waking up every single morning and not knowing where you were, who the man in bed beside you was, what you were doing there etc. To have to be told anew at the beginning of each day and then lose it all again once sleep comes would be devastating at best. The ending was incredible and one I didn't expect.
This is one book that I will highly, highly recommend to EVERYONE!!! Excellent and very, very well done novel!!!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Pros: sympathetic protagonist, good pacing, tension builds to a strong climax
Cons: some plot twists are predictable
Every morning Christine Lucas wakes up next to a stranger: her husband, Ben. An accident has robbed her of the ability to remember the past 20 years and to retain new memories.
She quickly discovers she has been keeping secrets from Ben, in the form of Dr. Nash, a doctor trying to help her regain her memories and a diary she's been keeping for the past few weeks. A diary that has, 'DON'T TRUST BEN', scratched into the front page.
This was a quick read that pulls you in from page one. The plight of a woman who has no idea who she is, who learns things each day and then forgets everything, is gut-wrenching.
Ben is alternately a sympathetic and sinister character. Christine discovers he lies to her, but isn't sure if it's to keep her from feeling grief over the events of the past or for another purpose.
I was able to guess a few things that would happen, but the climax was strong and contained a few twists I didn't predict.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2011
This book was amazing. It took a little to get into it... But the ending was so unsuspecting and exciting! I highly HIGHLY recomend this book! I couldn't put it down. I'm a pretty slow reader and finished it in 2 days! Amazing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2012
I am unable to write much because I am way too exhausted. Why? Because even though I have a baby and work a day job out of the home; I did not go to sleep until I after 3am because I was too intrigued, to enthralled by this book.
Each page sparks curiosity to quickly get to the next.... so much that I found myself sometimes skimming paragraphs to "find out" what would happen next.
Want a good page turner? Grab this book. But block a significant amount of time out for yourself. You won't put it down!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2011
This was a page turner. And to believe this is what people really go through, who have lost their memories.
How we take our lives for granted. I loved this book. Never read anything like this before. I've loaned it to
two friends, and now it's finding it's way at Christmas to my daughter who lives I works in Hong Kong.
It will be past among her teacher friends as well. This is one book that will build it's own air miles.
I loved this book. So different.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2012
This was an excellent book!!! I couldn't put it down, and actually finished it in a day and a half. I have never written a book review but felt compelled to after reading some of the other reviews. I do agree with some of the other readers that found the book a little repetitive at times, but in my opionion it worked well....the main character Christine does have amnesia after all. Great job S.J. Watson on your debut novel!!!
This was an interesting thriller to say the least. The writer brings the reader along on a harrowing journey through the mind of an amnesiac. Christine Lucas was in an accident that left her with a tenuous connection to her past memories and an inability to form new ones. Written from Christine's point of view, we see what it would be like to never be able to remember what happened yesterday. When Christine sleeps she loses all of the days memories and when she wakes up in the morning she finds everything around her unfamiliar and confusing. She even doesn't recognize her own reflection in the mirror. When did she become old? When did she marry Ben, the man she wakes up to every morning?
The reader cannot help thinking about just how disorienting the experience would be and how harrowing it would feel not recognize your own house, husband and life every single morning you woke up. When our main character starts seeing Dr. Nash to help improve her memory, she doesn't tell her husband. Christine doesn't want to disappoint him with no progress and she wants to try to create something concrete for herself before sharing this new experience. When she starts writing down what happens every day and what her husband tells her of her life, she finds that there discrepancies between the two.
Real and intense moments for the reader are created by S.J. Watson as we are immersed into Christine's daily life. Every day, as she writes in her journal and discovers her history each morning by reading her writings, the reader hold their breath, wondering who is on Christine's side. Is her Doctor really helping her or is he using her for research? Is Christine's husband truly the good man he seems to be or is Christine in danger in her own house?
This book builds suspense and the reader has to really struggle to figure out how this story will end. It's a great ride, a terrifically written exploration of how memory works and a thrilling mystery that ends with a spectacular ending that the reader never sees coming. You'll love this book, it's different and twisty. Watson is a wonderful writer.
on October 23, 2014
"Before I Go To Sleep" by S. J. Watson, is an amazing debut novel...a book I could not put down. This thriller, with it's suspense, twists and turns, as it moves towards the finish, is brilliant, and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. I recognize that it has got mixed reviews, but for me it was a gripping read.
Before I Go to Sleep tells the story of Christine Lucas, who is trying to piece back her life after suffering an accident that has caused her to have amnesia. Chrissy can remember everything that happens to her during the day but as soon as she goes into a deep sleep, her brain erases all her adult memory; resulting in Christine waking up next to a stranger-her husband Ben? She can't retain new memories, so her entire adult life is blank, but her early childhood memories are unaffected. The man she wakes up next to tells her he is her husband, Ben, they have been married for 22 years, they are very happy, and very in love. She wakes thinking she is young, and gets a terrible shock when she looks in the mirror, and sees her wrinkles.
Christine receives a phone call from a Dr. Nash, a neuropsychologist, who has been following her case, and thinks he can help her...but she doesn't know him! Dr. Nash gives Christine her journal, where she had recorded her daily activities for the last few weeks...and so the story evolves and she both reads and writes in the journal on a daily basis, in order to stir up some memories. But Ben doesn't know that his wife is seeing Dr. Nash and keeping a journal. So many lies and secrets are soon revealed...Who can she trust?
And some memories are better off without!
This novel is written in the first POV, and the reader is right with Christine as she discovers the truth. Christine write in her journal trying to piece together, everything she has missed in her life... and she comes to realise that her life is a lot different that she thinks it is. My heart went out to her, having to live this kind of existence!
I was very impressed with this well written novel, and can understand why it was made into a movie. This novel will appeal to a wide audience of readers. Don't miss out on this one!