07 March 2012
Book Review: Before I Go to Sleep
Author: S.J. Watson
Publisher/Year: Harper / 2011
Source/Format: TLC Book Tours / Print
Date Finished: 27 February 2012
Book # 10
Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid
The Short and Sweet of It
Christine wakes up in a strange bed next to a man she doesn't recognize. Every morning. Her life is a mystery to her as she suffers from amnesia after a horrible accident left her incapable of retaining new information or remembering much of her past. But now she's keeping a journal, trying to tie together the events of her life and find out what happened and why her husband is lying to her.
A Bit of a Ramble
The premise, an inability to make new memories, has fascinated me ever since I watched Memento, a well constructed film directed by Christopher Nolan. Like Memento, Before I Go to Sleep focuses on the construction of reality when the protagonist can't see cause and effect. And both film and book have their characters rely on notes to get them through (tattoos in Memento and a journal in Before I Go to Sleep). Where the two really differ is that Memento brutally shows how truth is practically impossible for someone with retrograde amnesia while Watson's book offers hope. Christine's journal really allows her to work her way through a mystery to get at the truth of her life.
Getting at that truth was tons of fun. Gathering the clues and piecing everything together along with Christine kept the book moving at quite the clip for the most part. The repetitive nature of the story - necessitated by the whole memory loss thing - did lose my interest enough towards the center to allow me to get distracted by the impracticality of the whole thing. I guess I'm more pessimistic about the possibility of someone suffering from amnesia of this sort actually making sense of her life. And then there's the journal. After all, with the amount of writing that woman did in her journal, plus reading it and processing it the next day, she clearly did not have time to actually do all of the things she writes about.
But those are small complaints that really were only an issue for a chunk in the middle where the story wasn't quite progressing as fast as I would have liked. Overall, I enjoyed the story and it certainly captured my interest to the point where I didn't have any trouble reading for long stretches of time.
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Read and reviewed as part of a book tour for TLC