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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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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.
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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!!!
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on February 9, 2012
I read this book in about 2 days, I just wanted to see it through. It was like a maze, everytime I thought I had it figured out, it would throw me another curve ball making me question if I was right. I did figure it out about half way through the book but felt compelled to see it through. Even though I figured it out, the ending made it all the lose ends come together.
If you like mystery/suspense then read this book.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon August 23, 2011
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!!!
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on March 10, 2016
Since a severe head injury 17 years ago, forty-something Christine Lucas has had amnesia. She's lost all her long-term memories, and short term recollections from any given day are wiped out when she sleeps. So Christine wakes up each morning not knowing where she is, not recognizing her husband, and thinking she's still a young woman. And every morning Christine's husband Ben has to remind her who he is, tell her about her life, show her a scrapbook with photos, etc.

Unknown to Ben - who feels Christine has seen enough doctors - she is being treated by Dr. Nash, a specialist in amnesia. Dr. Nash has advised Christine to keep a journal, where she records what happens each day. Every morning Dr. Nash calls Christine, tells her who he is, and reminds her to read the journal. This helps Christine put together pieces of her life and gives her some day to day continuity.

Dr. Nash has also been taking Christine to places she's lived, in the hopes of reviving old memories. And Christine does get flashes from the past which she faithfully records in her journal - along with mundane day to day occurrences. As Christine begins comparing her journal to things Ben tells her, she realizes Ben is lying about important matters. As the story unfolds the reader slowly learns the truth about Christine's past as well as what's going on in her life now.

The book has an interesting premise. However, it's very slow moving and tediously repetitive as Christine constantly relearns aspects of her life. Thus this 'thriller' isn't that thrilling, though there's some excitement as the story approaches it's climax - and Christine confronts difficult truths.

From the buzz around the book I expected to like it better, but it turned out to be a 3 star book for me.

Note: The movie adaptation of the book, starring Nicole Kidman (Christine) and Colin Firth (Ben) is half-faithful to the story. It's not a great film (2 stars for me) but it does zip along much faster than the book.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon February 3, 2015
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.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 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!
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on May 7, 2014
A pure psychological thriller (which I must admit is less to my taste, especially the psychological side ...) with a fluidity in the text. We inch in the story and the more we advance the more the suspense and tension build up to an end - although a little predictable - nonetheless very good.

At first I was scared to read the same thing constantly, as Christine forget all her days overnights. I thought that this would be yet another story of butterfly effect, seen and reviewed, but I was pleasantly surprised, because Watson arrives to help us understand the anguish of a woman who wakes up every morning not knowing who is man beside her, without telling us the same thing. He adds every day a detail, a fact, an anecdote that allows us to understand the story of Christine, almost at the same time (almost because as we do not forget ... we - almost - are one step ahead anyway)!

The main character, Christine, is very well written, not too hysterical despite her condition, not too naive either, rather she is an intelligent woman who is looking for answers to her story without blindly believing what people tell her. The relationships between the characters are very realistic, there are no frills. I was really surprised to know that the author is a man considering how he writes and the accuracy in the transcription of the feelings and thoughts of Christine: there is a real feminine sensibility in the writing, which made me think that the author is a woman.

In a nutshell

Amateurs of psychological thriller, this book is for you! It fully deserves its price and for a first novel, S. J. Watson hits hard, it must be said. I give it a 3/5, mainly because I have a harder time hanging on with psychological thrillers.

My thoughts on closing the book: by Jove, I do not like this kind of ending!
(Originally posted at
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon March 29, 2014
I read this book because of a recommendation from a girl at work. It was apparently the best book she ever read. I absolutely HAD to read it. I would love it. If it wasn't for the ending, I wouldn't have liked this book at all.

It's about a woman who has the type of brain injury that prevents her from creating short-term memories. It's an interesting topic. I loved the movies 50 First Dates and Memento which both had the main character experiencing this phenomenon, one being light-hearted and the other extremely serious. However, it's one thing watching this and another to read about it. Not sadly, but confusingly and monotonously. The same details over and over as she starts each new day. Sometimes the details change, or her reaction to everything changed, and you had no idea what was really going on. Usually this is fun, like in Groundhog Day, but not so much here. It ended well...all was made clear, but it was a painful process to get there.

I wouldn't tell someone not to read it, it wasn't bad but in my opinion this would be a much better movie. Too bad it's been done before.
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on August 23, 2013
Before I Go To Sleep is told in first person narration in the perspective of a middle-aged woman, named Christine, who had an accident many years ago (22 years ago, I believe) and since has not been able to hold onto her memory for more than one day. She wakes up each day without any knowledge of where she is, how old she is, or what happened to her. All she has is her husband to remind her of everything.

I thought the story was very good. The concept is similar to the movie, 50 First Dates, which is what initially caught my interest for this book. However, it is nothing like that movie. It is mysterious, suspenseful, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Seriously, I could not put it down for the last 100 pages. I NEEDED to keep reading to find out what happened. It seemed as though I was physically incapable of putting it down, because there were other things I had planned on doing with my time. But, no dice. I had to finish the book first!

Everything about this book was very well-done. The story was great and captivating. The characters were well-developed and it was extremely easy to identify and connect with Christine all throughout her journey. The writing was also very good, with excellent story-telling. I was hooked from the first page. I will definitely keep my eye out for more work from Watson! I would highly recommend this book to fans of the genre. I can't seem to find any faults with the novel at all. Oh, plus it's turning into a movie starring Nicole Kidman -- reportedly to hit theatres next year!
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