Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I'll admit it.  I wanted to see the movie, Before I Go To Sleep, but just didn't get to it.  Thank goodness the book  remains available. This involved but uncomplicated tale wrapped me up and kept me until it was finished. Some books contain great characters, in some books the language paints scenes with graceful lines, and still other books offer unique and intricate plots. S. J. Watson's book gives us a unique plot with an interesting main character defect.

 Christine, the main character, is fully fleshed out, though the other characters are not. Some of this exists because the story is told by Christine, and, well, she can't remember. None of the people in her current life exist outside of today. Watson's excellent writing drives the reader deep into Christine's world, letting them experience Christine's emotions and her sense that all the people around her are somewhat wooden.

   …I scan the rest of the pictures.  They are all of me, and him. In one I am wearing an ugly dress and unwrapping a present, in another both of us wear matching weatherproof jackets and stand in front of a waterfall as a small dog sniffs at our feet.  Next to it is a picture of me sitting beside him, sipping a glass of orange juice, wearing the dressing gown I have seen in the bedroom next to the door.
   I step back further, until I feel cold tiles against my back.  It is then I get the glimmer that I associate with memory.  As my mind tries to settle on it, it flutters away, like ashes caught in a breeze, and I realize that in my life there is a then, a before, though before what I cannot say, and there is a now, and there is nothing between the two but a long, silent emptiness that has led me here, to me and him, in this house.

  • Too many covers to chose form!

  • Mass Market Paperback: 363 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (February 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006224454X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062244543

About the book: 

Christine cannot remember anything after her accident.  She has been living like this for years. Now each day she wakes up only to have to depend on her husband, Ben, to tell her what has happened. But is he telling her everything? A man, calling himself Dr. Nash, contacts her saying he is helping her achieve a better way to remember. But who can she trust? Ben, Dr. Nash, or the journal the doctor asked her to write.  What if no one tells the whole truth, what if they leave out important details. Will she ever know what happened?

My take:

I found this book engaging and difficult to put down. Fully immersed in Christine's world, I often read until early morning. The colorful writing style helps the words flow effortlessly as I read. The unexpected climax of the story made this a unique read.

There are problems with the book, though. While the waking up each day and learning all about herself is something Christine must do and it is something the reader needs to experience, the fact this replays for so many pages, makes a reader want to skip chapters. Except readers can't skip chapters because something might happen. This repetition each day (for almost 200 pages) wore on me.  Because we are learning about this through Christine's journal, sometimes her entries seem a bit staged and unrealistic as if Watson had to get something across to the reader and took the easy way out.


 I recommend this to anyone who is looking for a slightly different read, who likes a thriller, and who enjoys plot driven novels.

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