The story of Christine Lucas made everything around me disappear – I was drawn right in.
She wakes up every morning and cannot remember anything. The man next to whom she wakes up reminds her day by day that he’s her husband and gives her little bits of information to make her understand the life she lost in a bizarre accident. Christine’s story is unusual, because she can store a lot of memories for hours, but during her sleep everything is erased. This quiet life, from day to day, resembles a kind of Groundhog’s Day, until one day it changes.
Dr Nash, whom apparently she’s been seeing for quite some time without her husband’s knowledge, suggests that she starts a diary that would help her remember. It is not easy for her, as she has to rely on her husband, Ben, on pretty much everything, but the diary has to be a secret.
This brings a sudden turn to the story. Writing and reading her diary every day, Christine learns about her life and herself to the point that she is able to maintain more and more memories. All of a sudden she is able to have continuity in her life, but it also brings on more than she can process in her mind. Fear and paranoia seize her and she no longer knows if she can trust anyone. Things which are true one day become dangerous lies the next. More and more people emerge from her lost memories – the son she can’t remember, a mysterious man named Ed, her best friend Claire who abandoned her, her parents who disappeared from her life and a man who was there and then, when she was robbed of her normal life. The question is, are they real people or just confabulations of her exhausted mind. There’s no easy way to see if anything or anybody is real.
The main plot brings up a question if she can remember enough to revive the memories of her ‘accident’ and find out who wanted to hurt her and why. The characters are believable and very vivid surrounded by a mundane London suburban life. The plot is predictable in many places; however, it does not make the story any less interesting. There are a few plot holes, but they might have been intentional to make the reader fill them in in the same manner as Christine would try to fill the gaps in her own memories.
I enjoyed the book very much – it kept me turning pages faster and faster. Even though the end is a climax of those little things I could guess from page to page, I thought it was poignant and compelling.
I would recommend the book to anyone who likes a quick read full of twists and turns.
Author: S J Watson
Title: Before I Go To Sleep
Publisher: Black Swan
Format: Paperback 384 pages