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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
3,5373161,494 (3.74)1 / 175
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)


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English (297)  Dutch (10)  French (4)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (316)
Showing 1-5 of 297 (next | show all)
This is good. Nicely told, suspenseful, quite a few misdirections to keep you guessing. The most entertaining book I've read in a while. ( )
  etrainer | May 15, 2015 |
Well I can honestly say that I really enjoyed reading this book and it had me hooked.
I had to find out what was going on. It had me guessing as to who the 'baddie' was so-to-speak right up until the end and I too like alot of people, i suppose, guessed wrong. I can also see why some people would not have liked it because the ending did in some ways seem a little too convenient,but I was not expecting it to turn out how it did. Even as I was reading it I kept changing my mind as to what had / was happening with her life and who if anyone she could trust.
I really made me think how awful it must be for someone to be in the same situation that this woman was in and also how much worse it must be for the loved ones around that person who have to live with it every day whilst the person with the actual affliction starts afresh every single day (which may actually be a blessing for them) ( )
  WWDG | May 6, 2015 |
I guess the premise of this novel is widely known by now, but in a nutshell the narrator Christine wakes up every day with no idea who she is, having suffered a trauma some years before that affected her memory. Everything she learns during the day, she promptly forgets overnight. I had a computer like that once, and it was mighty annoying, but this is probably some way worse.

It must have been a challenge to write. Like Kate Atkinson's "Life after Life", there is a necessary element of repetitiveness about it, and I wondered how the author would deal with it. In the first chapter, we follow Christine as she wakes up, no idea where she is, and via a diary (that she initially doesn't know she has been keeping) finds out what is going on. Subsequently the waking up and being disoriented bit is dropped, to be assumed by the reader. As it should be, but as Christine reads her diary she feels less like the person who woke up with no memory, and more like someone who remembers everything. It was always going to work out that way, but it was hard to keep in mind that every day was like an individual lifetime to her. On the other hand, the author skilfully points out the implications of this medical condition that are not immediately obvious - the way it would be compounded by illness and infirmity. Having such a condition on the day of one's death. It was grim stuff.

Whatever my misgivings about some bits of it (and one passage towards the end about who had whose telephone number and who couldn't get in touch with who nearly made me lose the will to live), this is a story that demands to be read to the end, and has a good twist that some will guess, but I didn't. ( )
  jayne_charles | May 4, 2015 |
You can read the synopsis for yourself, so I won't reiterate. I will say that this is a page turner! Not a book you can read while part of your brain is on vacation, so if you're looking for one of those, keep looking. This is a very thoughtful and complex story that requires you to pay attention to details--I love books like this! There are clues dropped throughout that will help the reader to figure out what is going on, but again, if you speed through, you will miss them completely. ( )
  ClarissaJohal | Apr 25, 2015 |
Good thriller. ( )
  INorris | Apr 20, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 297 (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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Important places
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I was born tomorrow
today I live
yesterday killed me

For my mother, and for Nicholas
First words
The bedroom is strange.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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?

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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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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1921758155, 1921758988

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