Can you imagine what it must be like to wake up every morning and not know where you are, who you are, and who the strange man in your bed is? This is the dilemma that faces Christine every day. She sees a middle-aged woman looking back at her in the mirror and the strange man in her bed patiently explains that he is Ben, her husband and she is 47 years old, and unable to form memories due to an accident long ago.
After her husband heads off to work, leaving her a whiteboard in the kitchen with reminders and suggestions of what to do and where everything is, the phone rings and Dr Nash, a neurologist, who claims to be treating her without Ben’s knowledge, reminds her to look in her closet for a journal which he has advised Christine to keep writing in on a daily basis, what she is thinking and feeling. However, as the pages accumulate, inconsistencies begin to emerge. As Christine slowly gathers together the missing pieces of memory she draws closer to the truth, and the more terrifying and deadly it is.
This story gives good insight into how amnesia is dealt with and Christine is suffering from a severe impairment of episodic memory which means when she awakens each morning she has no recollection of what occurred the day before. The hope is as time passes her memory will gradually come back – but there are no guarantees.
This novel is a fascinating look at the neurological and psychological aspects of different types of amnesia and is hard to put down.
In 2008, S.J.Watson was accepted into the first Faber Academy “Writing a Novel” Course, a program that covers all aspects of the novel-writing process. Before I Go to Sleep was the result and was immediately snapped up by a top UK literary agent.
If you are looking for a good psychological thriller which is well written and thought provoking then this is the book for you.
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