BOOK REVIEW: Before I Go To Sleep – by S.J. Watson

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Title: Before I Go To Sleep
Author: S.J. Watson
Genre: Mystery, Contemporary, Psychology
First published: June 14th 2011
Finished reading: March 15th 2014
Pages: 372
(Read in Spanish: ‘No Confies En Nadie’)

Rating 4,5

“We’re constantly changing facts, rewriting history to make things easier, to make them fit in with our preferred version of events. We do it automatically. We invent memories. Without thinking. If we tell ourselves something happened often enough we start to believe it, and then we can actually remember it.”

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Memories makes us into what we are. It forms our identity, and without memories life just wouldn’t make sense… We would be lost. Unfortunately, in Before I Go To Sleep that is just what happens to our main character Christine. After having suffered from some kind of brain trauma, every day her world just resets. It is an interesting story about a woman who tries to get her memories and life back after suffering from amnesia, and it has a very strong message. I personally really enjoyed this novel and I would definitely recommend it!

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Christine wakes up every day thinking she is at least 25 years younger than she really is, and doesn’t recognize the room she woke up in nor the man that is supposed to be her husband. We see the world through her eyes… And as Christine started to get some help from a doctor named Ed Nash, she slowly begins to remember pieces of her lost memories. But not all memories are happy… She discovers that her husband Ben is lying to her about a quite few things. He lies about her having a son, Adam, about her best friend Claire having moved away to New Zealand, about her having a car accident… And other things too.

Thanks to the diary Dr. Nash encourages Christine to write, she starts to remember more and more, and becomes confused. She no longer knows who to trust and what to believe. And most importantly, whether to believe the man that says is her husband or not. Slowly we discover the truth together with Christine. We learn her brain trauma wasn’t caused by a car accident like Ben told her. She was attacked at a hotel and found half-strangled all those years ago. But it doesn’t matter how hard she tries to remember who did it, the face of the assaulter remains blurry. And then we read the shocking end, where we learn the truth about Adam and Ben doesn’t seem who we think he is…

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The story is written from Christine’s perspective, and therefore we don’t know the truth until the very end. Slowly we find out more and more about her past, and Ben becomes more suspicious every day. Still he seems to love her, and then the shocking end… I really enjoyed the story and it’s a great first novel. I will be wanting to read more of S.J. Watson’s work for sure… And at least re-read the story in it’s original language.