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Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel by S. J.…

Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel (original 2011; edition 2012)

by S. J. Watson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,0693751,248 (3.74)1 / 203
Title:Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel
Authors:S. J. Watson
Info:Harper Paperbacks (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Read 2012, Read but unowned

Work details

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

  1. 91
    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (becksdakex)
  2. 30
    The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins (fannyprice)
    fannyprice: Similarly unreliable, damaged women trying to reconstruct their lives.
  3. 10
    Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse (fannyprice)
  4. 00
    Painkiller by N. J. Fountain (Roro8)
  5. 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.
  6. 00
    Left Neglected by Lisa Genova (JenMDB)
  7. 00
    After The Fall by Sarah Goodwin (GirlMisanthrope)
  8. 11
    Little Face by Sophie Hannah (DeeDee80)

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English (355)  Dutch (10)  French (4)  German (3)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (375)
Showing 1-5 of 355 (next | show all)
Mind = blown. That pretty much sums up my thoughts on this book. Before I Go to Sleep is mystery/thriller that will literally keep you guessing until the very end.

Christine is a middle aged woman who wakes each morning a blank slate. I don't mean this in the self help "every day is a new day" sort of way. She literally is a blank slate, she has no memories. As a result of a horrific tragedy 20+ years ago, Christine has a very rare form of amnesia in which she can retain no memories. Most days she wakes believing she is in her early twenties, other days she believes she is still a child. Each morning her husband Ben patiently talks her through her past tragedy, explains her diagnosis, and attempts to provide clarity and reassurances with family pictures and scrapbooks documenting their marriage and life together. At the urging of a psychologist, Dr. Nash who is bent on assisting Christine in retrieving her memories, or at the very least, begin to retain new ones, she begins keeping a journal every day. Over the course of several weeks, Christine reconnects with (what she believes is) a dear friend, Claire, and learns that the "accident" resulting in her condition may not have been an accident at all, but may be the result of something much more sinister. Christine isn't sure what is truth and what is lie, who she can trust and who she can't (including her own mind) but she must make sense of it all, before it's too late (sounds ominous, I know).
This book had me guessing the ENTIRE time. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, I was thrown a curveball. I oscillated between thinking each of the three supporting characters in Christine's story had nefarious intentions, then changing my mind...again....and again. Having such an unreliable main character really made trying to figure out "who dun it" that much more difficult and made the ending that much more spectacular. I definitely recommend this read if you are into mystery/thrillers, it won't disappoint! ( )
  courtneygiraldo | Aug 8, 2016 |
Every morning Christine wakes up in a strange bed beside a strange man. She views herself as a party girl so when she sees his wedding ring, she thinks she got drunk and went home with a married man. When she looks in the mirror she sees the face a an older woman, not the mid-twenties woman she feels like inside. She tries to remember how she ended up there but soon realizes she can't remember anything. Her past is a mystery.

The stranger introduces himself as Ben, her husband of twenty years. He tells her that every morning he wakes up to a woman who can't remember anything, including him or their life together. He explains this every day and also puts notes around the bathroom mirror to remind her throughout the day what to do and how to reach him. Chris is also contacted by Dr Edmund Nash, a neuro psychologist, who also calls every day to tell her where to find her journal. When she starts to read it, the very first sentence she sees is "Don't trust Ben".

Before I Go to Sleep is divided into three parts, all narrated by Christine. Part One introduces the reader to the premise. Part Two is filled with Christine's journal entries. Part Three is what happens after she's finished reading her journal. The author did a wonderful job of relaying Christine's anxiety to us through her journals. She lets us know how terrifying it must be to wake up each day with no memories of the previous day. This is a complex, well written and suspenseful novel. I didn't realize it had been made into a movie so I might check it out. I'm usually disappointed in those after enjoying the book, so maybe it's better if I skip it. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jul 26, 2016 |
This was incredible, even if I did see some of it coming... Well written and chilling. The ending is good technically but I really still want to know what happened the next morning.. regardless of how you feel about a book, whether you adore it or it makes you angry, it has made you feel. That is good literature. ( )
  RoseyEm | Jul 14, 2016 |
This is a book about a woman who had an accident and each day she wakes up and can't remember her life. As I've been reading this I kept thinking I had read it before. Not until 10 pages left in the book I realized that I had. I didn't think I had read it yet because surely I would have added it to my read books for 2011. But I see I have only added 15 of the 100 books I read that year. I'm not mad I read this again as it is a good book. It keep me guessing the entire time. Is Ben her husband? Is Dr. Nash really who he says he is? Is that really Claire? And what did happen to Christine. I'm not going to give too much details because you will have to read it yourself to know what is going on. It is a good read and makes you wonder what it's like to have this problem. How would I deal with it? Give it a try. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 10, 2016 |
"What are we, if not an accumulation of our memories?" wonder Christine Lucas. Due to trauma, she has lost both her long-term and her short-term memory. She awakens every morning not knowing anything about herself. She is surprised by the age of the woman looking back at her from the mirror, surprised by the man in her house who introduces himself every morning as her husband Ben, surprised by the doctor who calls her every morning to tell her where she has hidden her journal and that she needs to read it. It is through her journal that we begin to piece together her story. And the first line in the journal reads "Don't trust Ben."

A little bit slow to start, this was an otherwise superb read! Christine makes a wonderfully unreliable narrator. It had me guessing until the end who was or wasn't trustworthy as well as what was happening with her. ( )
  Hope_H | Jul 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 355 (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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I was born tomorrow
today I live
yesterday killed me

For my mother, and for Nicholas
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The bedroom is strange.
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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?

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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.

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4 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1921758155, 1921758988

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