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Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel by S. J.…
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Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel (original 2011; edition 2012)

by S. J. Watson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,5873311,471 (3.74)1 / 182
Member:BethArcher
Title:Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel
Authors:S. J. Watson
Info:Harper Paperbacks (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Thriller

Work details

Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson (2011)

  1. 81
    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (becksdakex)
  2. 10
    Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse (fannyprice)
  3. 10
    The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (fannyprice)
    fannyprice: Similarly unreliable, damaged women trying to reconstruct their lives.
  4. 00
    Black Out by Lisa Unger (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: The women in Before I Go To Sleep and Black Out are suffering from amnesia. They must piece together their identities in order to escape from threatening and disturbing forces at work in their lives.
  5. 00
    Left Neglected by Lisa Genova (JenMDB)
  6. 00
    After The Fall by Sarah Goodwin (GirlMisanthrope)
  7. 11
    Little Face by Sophie Hannah (DeeDee80)
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English (312)  Dutch (10)  French (4)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (331)
Showing 1-5 of 312 (next | show all)
This novel is the story of Christine, a woman suffering from a form of amnesia that prevents her from forming any new memories. She remembers what happens in a single day, but each night, when she goes to sleep, her entire memory is swept clean of everything that happened that day. She wakes up in bed next to a man who explains, day after day, that he is her husband and that she has lost her memory due to a hit and run accident many years earlier. She has some occasional flashes of memory and when they begin to contradict what her husband is telling her, the mystery begins.
This book was on some list of the Best of 2011. I am not sure I would consider it one of the best, but I thoroughly enjoyed the story. It was a page turner that at times made me scared as I was reading.
( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
I couldn't put this one down & didn't guess the ending...which is rare for me. It's not the most beautifully written story but it kept me guessing so it gets 4 stars. ( )
  PiperUp | Aug 14, 2015 |
A nice quick thriller. 3.5 stars. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
Christine does not remember most of her life. Every morning she wakes up next to a stranger who tells her he is her husband, Ben. Every day he explains to he that she has amnesia. And every night, when she sleeps, she forgets everything that happened that day, too. But then, at the urging of a doctor, she begins to keep a secret journal that provides her with an artificial memory of recent days. And sometime during those days, she's scrawled "Don't trust Ben" in the front of the journal.

It's a fantastic setup for novel, the kind that promises creepy, slowly revealed secrets and deep emotional tension. Plus, the cover is plastered with blurbs praising how heart-stopping and nerve-jangling and page-turning it is. So I went into it looking to have my heart stopped and my nerves jangled, and such, and... it kind of didn't happen.

The writing isn't great, but that wasn't really the problem. None of the big, surprising twists felt all that surprising, but I don't think that's the problem, either. The problem is that none of it felt real to me. And I don't mean the fact that amnesia just doesn't work that way. I was actually OK with that, after a line from a doctor about Christine's condition not fitting our current understanding of memory convinced me that the author wasn't proceeding from ignorance, but instead knowingly fudging the medical facts for the sake of the story. I was willing to go with that. It was everything else that bugged me. Stuff like the fact that Christine's doctor seems to have no patients but her to worry about and is free to spend big chunks of his work day dropping by her house and taking her on memory-jogging field trips.

But the biggest problem was Christine herself. She just never felt emotionally believable to me as someone going through the things she's going through. She talks a lot about her thoughts and feelings, but it all feels sort of... hollow. I'm not sure I ever really believed there was a person in there. And without any deep sense of empathy for her, I was more irritated by her than concerned about her. Which made it kind of hard for my nerves to get tingly for her. ( )
1 vote bragan | Jul 28, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 312 (next | show all)
What if you woke up every morning, confused and lost? What if the body you woke up in was not the body you remember going to sleep in? What if you were oblivious to the events of the last 30 years of your life? Memories are what define all of us as people. But when you wake up, tangled in lies, visions and fleeting images of memories that seem to dark and fiction to seem real, how do you make sense of that?

Welcome to the life of Christine Lucas, a middle aged woman suffering from extreme amnesia, who has no memory of what happened in her life for her past 30 years. When she sleeps, her memory melts away, like snow on a spring day.

The highly acclaimed, internationally best seller is truly a suspenseful, interesting and gripping book that will keep you entertained for all 356 pages of it. For lovers of Mysteries, this is a must read book, and I highly recommend it to everybody.
added by davidboot | editEnglish 9, David Boot (Jan 28, 2013)
 
What if you woke up every morning, confused and lost, and unfamiliar with your own reflection in the mirror? What would you do when you wake up, tangled in lies, visions and fleeting images of memories that seem to dark and fiction to seem real?

Welcome to the life of Christine Lucas, a victim of an unsettling accident leaving her unable to retain memories for longer than 24 hours. When she sleeps, her memory melts away, like snow on a spring day. Keeping a diary of her daily events, she fits the pieces of her life puzzle together; she reaches a disturbing conclusion.

The Journal style format of this book creates a truly unique style of writing, one that truly pulls you into the struggles of Christine’s daily life. The narration gives the reader a striking insight into the daily battle of discovering her identity. However, the style of daily journal entries can make the book slow at parts, but much like a roller coaster, it is all simply preparation for the plunge of excitement.

For lovers of mysteries and psychological thrillers, this is a must read book. However, I still highly recommend it to everybody. The sudden flashbacks, the distorted images and the faint impression that things are not at all what they seem. This book will make you rethink all of your unclear memories; it will keep you extremely entertained.

added by davidboot | editEnglish 9, David Boot (Jan 27, 2013)
 
The ending feels hurried; a sentimental postscript to the meticulously plotted main event. But these are minor gripes. Before I Go to Sleep is an enjoyable and impressive first novel. Like the best of its thematic predecessors, it is also an affecting moral allegory: don't forget your loved ones. Or else.
 
The most unnerving aspect of Before I Go to Sleep is the way it is rooted in the domestic, the suburban, the trivial. Forget whizz-bang futurism: it proceeds from ordinary life in tiny, terrifying steps, and is all the better for it.
 
Watson’s pitch-perfect writing propels the story to a frenzied climax that will haunt readers long after they’ve closed the cover on this remarkable book.
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews (Mar 1, 2011)
 
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Epigraph
I was born tomorrow
today I live
yesterday killed me


—PARVIZ OWSIA
Dedication
For my mother, and for Nicholas
First words
The bedroom is strange.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I'm still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me...

Memories define us.

So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?

Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love — all forgotten overnight.

And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.

Every day Christine wakes up not knowing where she is. Her memories disappear every time she falls asleep. Her husband, Ben, is a stranger to her, and he's obligated to explain their life together on a daily basis — all the result of a mysterious accident that made Christine an amnesiac.

With the encouragement of her doctor, Christine starts a journal to help jog her memory every day. One morning, she opens it and sees that she's written three unexpected and terrifying words: "Don't trust Ben." Suddenly everything her husband has told her falls under suspicion.

What kind of accident caused her condition? Who can she trust? Why is Ben lying to her? And, for the reader: Can Christine’s story be trusted?

Haiku summary
To Christine, each day
Is a blank page. Who can she
Trust? Can we trust her?
(passion4reading)

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

An amnesiac attempts to reconstruct her past by keeping a journal and discovers the dangerous inconsistencies in the stories of her husband and her secret doctor.

(summary from another edition)

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2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1921758155, 1921758988

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