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Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson
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Before I Go To Sleep (original 2011; edition 2012)

by S J Watson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,9223651,312 (3.74)1 / 191
Chris wakes up every morning not knowing who she is. Psychological thriller. Went on a bit to long and saw ending coming. ( )
  Mumineurope | Apr 19, 2012 |
English (345)  Dutch (10)  French (4)  German (3)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (365)
Showing 1-25 of 345 (next | show all)
SJ Watson does a masterful job of creating doubt - Christine has no memory and no way of knowing who to trust. She is the ultimate vulnerable person, relying on people she doesn't remember to ground her in reality. We take for granted our minds and this book explores what happens when we can't rely on our minds to make sense of our world. There's also a nice twist in the story that adds a sense of menace. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Apr 17, 2016 |
I read this one in a day - I had a difficult time putting it down. This story is about a woman who wakes up each morning not knowing where she is or who she is or who the strange man in her bed is. The plot has intriguing twists and turns. The characters are engrossing. ( )
  MelAnnC | Feb 28, 2016 |
This book had me guessing until the end. I was in disbelief. I loved it!

Chrissy wakes up each morning not knowing who she is, where she is, who the man is beside her in bed. Each day she goes through the process of learning about who she is and what her life is like. She secretly begins meeting with a doctor who encourages her to keep a journal of what happens throughout the day in hopes that it will eventually help her discover the truth.

My review does not give the book justice; you'll just have to read it for yourself! ( )
  jenn88 | Feb 14, 2016 |
11.83
  johnrid11 | Feb 14, 2016 |
Couldn't put it down... ( )
  tashlyn88 | Feb 5, 2016 |
I thought the twist ending was a good one, though I kind of figured it out before we got there. Overall, it was an interesting premise for a book, even if it didn't entirely grab me. ( )
  lovelypenny | Feb 4, 2016 |
Oddly enough, I read this because I couldn't sleep. It isn't very good. ( )
  hoegbottom | Jan 30, 2016 |
Catchy and suspenseful but I didn't like the way the author portrayed the main female character. Wasn't interesting enough to keep my attention. ( )
  Erika.D | Jan 28, 2016 |
Oh dear, I've left it rather too long to review this. I finished it weeks ago and I'm not sure that I have much to add to what others have said.

The story is about Christine, a 50 year old woman who wakes every morning with her memory wiped. It seems she has suffered some trauma which has left her incapable of retaining new memories, when she wakes it varies as to how much of her life she remembers, but invariably she is a young woman with no memory of her husband or most of the past 30 years.

It's an interesting premise and I enjoyed the voyage of discovery she makes. I know a lot of people found the 'journal' that she writes unbelievable, but I didn't find it a problem (When going through a very difficult, low point in my life, years ago, & with no-one to talk to I poured it all out on paper as a form of therapy. Wierdly it's in a very similar style to Christine's journal)

I liked the tension in the book, who could she trust & how could she recognise the truth? But equally, I seem to be reading quite a few 'unreliable narrator' books of late - must be the new 'thing'. Other than that, it's difficult to review without giving away any of the twists & turns. Ditto on commenting on the ending.

There is still something about the book I couldn't get into & I'm finding it difficult to pinpoint. This was the first book I read in Kindle format & I'm wondering if I didn't get on with the book because of the format, or didn't get on with the format because of the book. ( )
  Cassandra2020 | Jan 24, 2016 |
This book begins like the movie "50 First Dates" - A woman who believes she is in her 20's wakes up as a 47 year old with no memory of the years in between. Then she starts keeping a journal. She discovers not everyone is telling her the truth! Is her husband lying? Is her doctor? Well, the story drags a bit in the middle, but the end is superb and the twists are well worth the wait! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jan 23, 2016 |
What a creepy, page-turning, psychological thriller this was - I couldn't put down! The premise of the book was great, a woman who when she falls asleep forgets everything. Forty-two year old Christine has amnesia - every morning she awakes not knowing where she is or who she she sleeping with. Her only lifelines are her patient husband and the journal she keeps to remind her of events that have occurred in her past. However, there are holes - so many holes which leaves her feeling confused, frustrated and scared.

The book takes the form of Christine's journal so the reader intimately shares her tragic story, her pain, her sadness and her anger, but also her bewilderment about who she can trust. Gradually more of Christine's life is revealed until the violent climax. My only criticism would be that the ending felt rushed - I think it could have been developed a bit more, but otherwise a fabulous read and highly recommended!! ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 23, 2016 |
Slow, plodding- I couldn't wait to finish and the pay-off wasn't there. Wouldn't recommend. Too bad for all the hype it got in the WSJ. For me it was entirely predictable at the end as well. Some members likened this book to the movie Memento, certainly not as suspenseful, it promised to but didn't deliver. Additionally, being the practical, detail-oriented woman that I am - how did this character deal with the day-to-day issues of personal care over a 20-year span? An author can sometimes get away without actually saying anything in the story, but in this case the author has to at least allude or imply to it in some way.

( )
  Judy_Ryfinski | Jan 20, 2016 |
Slow, plodding- I couldn't wait to finish and the pay-off wasn't there. Wouldn't recommend. Too bad for all the hype it got in the WSJ. For me it was entirely predictable at the end as well. Some members likened this book to the movie Memento, certainly not as suspenseful, it promised to but didn't deliver. Additionally, being the practical, detail-oriented woman that I am - how did this character deal with the day-to-day issues of personal care over a 20-year span? An author can sometimes get away without actually saying anything in the story, but in this case the author has to at least allude or imply to it in some way.

( )
  Judy_Ryfinski | Jan 20, 2016 |
Originally posted at http://olduvaireads.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/mini-reviews-september-2013

Generally you have no consistent memory of anything that happened since your early childhood, but you seem to process new memories in a way I have never come across before. If I left this room now and returned in two minutes, most people with anterograde amnesia would not remember having met me at all, certainly not today. But you seem to remember whole chunks of time—up to twenty-four hours—which you then lose. That’s not typical. To be honest, it doesn’t make any sense, considering the way we believe that memory works. It suggests you are able to transfer things from short-term to long-term storage perfectly well. I don’t understand why you can’t retain them.

Such a promising premise! A woman wakes up every morning and doesn’t know who she is, where she is. She essentially has several different kinds of amnesia and has to figure things out from scratch every single day. So far so interesting, right? Yeah but then it gets a bit repetitive as the narration moves into the form of a (very detailed – too detailed?) journal. And then as we head towards the ending, I am trying my hardest not to roll my eyes at how it just spirals into this rather predictable conclusion that seems perfect for the big screen. Interesting idea, not very good execution, terrible ending – this book was not for me, although I seem to be in the minority as it’s gotten plenty of good reviews on Goodreads! ( )
  olduvai | Jan 19, 2016 |
Not sure I totally get what all the hype was about. It was good but it seemed like the first 300 pages were just the same over and over again and that the last 50 pgs. were rushed and kind of pop corny. Glad I read it but more annoying than enjoyable. Not something I would recommend. ( )
  Charlie-Ravioli | Jan 18, 2016 |
Christine wakes in a strange bed, doesn’t recognize the room or the man snoring next to her. He has grey-flecked hair and she surmises she must have had a one-night stand with an older man. When she makes it down the corridor to the bathroom and looks in the mirror she has no recollection of ever seeing the middle-aged woman reflected back at her.
In answer to her screams her husband Ben shows up and tells her—as he does every day—who she is and how she has amnesia. The photographs surrounding the bathroom mirror show her each day a history of her life so far, and as she relaxes into the day, all is well. She just knows that as soon as she goes to sleep it will start all over again.
After Ben has left for his teaching job, the phone rings and a Dr. Nash reminds her to look in the shoebox in her closet. Apparently she has a journal she writes in every day that she keeps hidden from her husband. The first note in the journal is DON’T TRUST BEN! As the novel progresses day by day and we get used to her routine, Christine’s life unfolds to us and to her. Gradually her memory increases until she no longer needs a daily reminder of the hidden journal and she begins to have flashbacks of her prior life. When she confronts Ben as to why he never told her of the novel she published or the son she bore, his answers are not glib, they make sense in order to protect her daily fragility.
When her flashbacks are of a man in her bed with a beard and a scarred face—definitely not Ben—and memories of a brutal assault, not of the automobile accident she has been told caused her head injuries, Christine begins to question Ben’s trust again. Nothing is as it appears and as the reader you should question everything you see and then never go to sleep again!
( )
  MarkPSadler | Jan 17, 2016 |
Christine wakes in a strange bed, doesn’t recognize the room or the man snoring next to her. He has grey-flecked hair and she surmises she must have had a one-night stand with an older man. When she makes it down the corridor to the bathroom and looks in the mirror she has no recollection of ever seeing the middle-aged woman reflected back at her.
In answer to her screams her husband Ben shows up and tells her—as he does every day—who she is and how she has amnesia. The photographs surrounding the bathroom mirror show her each day a history of her life so far, and as she relaxes into the day, all is well. She just knows that as soon as she goes to sleep it will start all over again.
After Ben has left for his teaching job, the phone rings and a Dr. Nash reminds her to look in the shoebox in her closet. Apparently she has a journal she writes in every day that she keeps hidden from her husband. The first note in the journal is DON’T TRUST BEN! As the novel progresses day by day and we get used to her routine, Christine’s life unfolds to us and to her. Gradually her memory increases until she no longer needs a daily reminder of the hidden journal and she begins to have flashbacks of her prior life. When she confronts Ben as to why he never told her of the novel she published or the son she bore, his answers are not glib, they make sense in order to protect her daily fragility.
When her flashbacks are of a man in her bed with a beard and a scarred face—definitely not Ben—and memories of a brutal assault, not of the automobile accident she has been told caused her head injuries, Christine begins to question Ben’s trust again. Nothing is as it appears and as the reader you should question everything you see and then never go to sleep again!
( )
  MarkPSadler | Jan 17, 2016 |
Christine wakes in a strange bed, doesn’t recognize the room or the man snoring next to her. He has grey-flecked hair and she surmises she must have had a one-night stand with an older man. When she makes it down the corridor to the bathroom and looks in the mirror she has no recollection of ever seeing the middle-aged woman reflected back at her.
In answer to her screams her husband Ben shows up and tells her—as he does every day—who she is and how she has amnesia. The photographs surrounding the bathroom mirror show her each day a history of her life so far, and as she relaxes into the day, all is well. She just knows that as soon as she goes to sleep it will start all over again.
After Ben has left for his teaching job, the phone rings and a Dr. Nash reminds her to look in the shoebox in her closet. Apparently she has a journal she writes in every day that she keeps hidden from her husband. The first note in the journal is DON’T TRUST BEN! As the novel progresses day by day and we get used to her routine, Christine’s life unfolds to us and to her. Gradually her memory increases until she no longer needs a daily reminder of the hidden journal and she begins to have flashbacks of her prior life. When she confronts Ben as to why he never told her of the novel she published or the son she bore, his answers are not glib, they make sense in order to protect her daily fragility.
When her flashbacks are of a man in her bed with a beard and a scarred face—definitely not Ben—and memories of a brutal assault, not of the automobile accident she has been told caused her head injuries, Christine begins to question Ben’s trust again. Nothing is as it appears and as the reader you should question everything you see and then never go to sleep again!
( )
  MarkPSadler | Jan 17, 2016 |
hmm it wasn't as suspenseful as i wanted. i read it cuz i wanted to see the movie. i think i would have enjoyed the movie if i hadn't read the book. i figured out really early on in the book who caused her accident. i also the clues Watson gave about some of the lies being told to her were so obvious to me that i figured them out way before they were revealed in the book.i read and watch a lot of murder mysteries. i enjoy them. most of the time i don't figure out who done it or plot twists until right before it's revealed. sometimes i never figure it out beforehand. that's why i like them. i was quite disappointed. ( )
  kdf_333 | Jan 16, 2016 |
hmm it wasn't as suspenseful as i wanted. i read it cuz i wanted to see the movie. i think i would have enjoyed the movie if i hadn't read the book. i figured out really early on in the book who caused her accident. i also the clues Watson gave about some of the lies being told to her were so obvious to me that i figured them out way before they were revealed in the book.i read and watch a lot of murder mysteries. i enjoy them. most of the time i don't figure out who done it or plot twists until right before it's revealed. sometimes i never figure it out beforehand. that's why i like them. i was quite disappointed. ( )
  kdf_333 | Jan 16, 2016 |
hmm it wasn't as suspenseful as i wanted. i read it cuz i wanted to see the movie. i think i would have enjoyed the movie if i hadn't read the book. i figured out really early on in the book who caused her accident. i also the clues Watson gave about some of the lies being told to her were so obvious to me that i figured them out way before they were revealed in the book.i read and watch a lot of murder mysteries. i enjoy them. most of the time i don't figure out who done it or plot twists until right before it's revealed. sometimes i never figure it out beforehand. that's why i like them. i was quite disappointed. ( )
  kdf_333 | Jan 16, 2016 |
Every morning when she wakes up Christine Lucas has no idea where she is or who the man in bed next to her might be. Looking in the mirror expecting to see her 20 year old self staring back at her she sees instead a near stranger who is at least 2 decades older than she remembers. Patiently her husband Ben explains to her, as he does every day, that she was in a terrible accident many years ago and she suffers from amnesia so severe that she forgets everything once she falls asleep. Christine has been seeing a psychiatrist, Dr. Nash, who has encouraged her to write in a journal every night before she goes to bed. In the mornings Dr. Nash calls Christine, explains who he is, and instructs her to go to the closet and find the journal in a shoe box where she has hidden it from Ben. As she reads the previous days' entries, Christine begins to form vague images of memories and many of them are frightening and contrary to the things Ben has been telling her. Unsure of whether she can trust her husband Christine is afraid to share her regained memories with him and begins to doubt her own sanity. She knows that Ben has lied to her about very important events in her life but she cannot understand why he would do so. Finding out the truth might be the most dangerous thing she could possibly do.

I cannot imagine anything more frightening than the scenario used in this novel - to not know who you are every single day of your life. Of course you would not have any idea who you could trust and Christine's journal shows how scared and desperate she becomes. I thought the story was very engrossing and certainly kept my attention. The ending was just a bit too over the top and unbelievable although I must admit I never saw the story going there. Overall an interesting book with a fairly good amount of suspense.
( )
  Ellen_R | Jan 15, 2016 |
4.5 stars - only because I knew what the outcome would be. This was a fabulous book that I really enjoyed. It really got me thinking about memory, things that we hold dear and how terrifying it would be waking up every morning, not knowing who or where you were, who that person next to you is or any of the details of your life.

Christine is an amnesiac. Every day she wakes up and has to be told who she is and details of her life. Slowly she starts to piece things together but there are flashes of memory that don't make sense to her. You start feeling immense sympathy for a character who repeats herself regularly and spends most of her time wracked with emotions she isn't sure belong to her memories. Can she trust herself or what those around her are telling her?

I thought this was a brilliant book - very well written and it absolutely sucked me in from the first few pages. It isn't massively long and is a fairly quick read, but it is intense reading. You have a sense of foreboding in places, followed by relief when things you feared are proven not to be true by other characters. In a way you start to live the roller-coaster turmoil of emotions that Christine goes through every day. I thought this was a fantastic book and am looking forward to discussing it with my book group. ( )
  sashinka | Jan 14, 2016 |
I liked this. It caught me off-guard because I couldn't quite figure out where it was headed and I didn't guess the ending. Plus it gave me a feeling of dread most of the way too--I couldn't stop reading, I had to know what was going to happen to her. Read it months ago and it's one those that I enjoyed while reading and now that some time has passed, a general impression rather than specific plot points is all that's left behind. Recommended if you like psychological suspense. It's sort of atmospheric - the kind of book you want to pull out at night or on a dreary/rainy day under a blanket with a steamy mug in hand. ( )
  angiestahl | Dec 24, 2015 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I didn't want to stop reading until I knew what was going on. ( )
  CassandraSabo | Dec 5, 2015 |
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