After reading a lot of procedural mysteries, this book “Before I go to sleep” by S.J. Watson, was a refreshing change. Not only did this book offer chilling moments, but the book managed to keep me hooked till the end.
Christine, a 47 year old woman, suffers from amnesia. She remembers herself when she was in her 20s and finds it hard to accept the fact that she has aged by over a decade. Every day is a new day for her. Every morning, she has to be reminded of who she is, whom she is living with, and what caused her this disease. Her memory sustains just for a day. She lives with her husband, Ben, who loves her unconditionally and does everything to support her in this condition of hers.
A fine day, her doctor, Dr. Nash, gives her a journal which she had been maintaining for weeks, which he had borrowed to read, a journal whose existence Christine has no recollection of. Christine sits down to read the journal to understand what happened each day over the past few weeks, where every day she had had glimpses of her past flashing in her memory, which she had written down meticulously. What Christine finds out from the journal, what happened to her in the past, and who caused it- covers the plot of the book.
The book is beautifully divided into three parts which helps in understanding the transition of past, memories and present effectively. The author’s vivid writing effortlessly connected me to the plight of the protagonist, experiencing and dreading the condition of amnesia. The supporting characters are brilliantly written evoking continuous doubt if any one of those is hiding their true colours. The story in itself is kept simple with minimum turning points and characters; each memory remembered by Christine plays a valid role throughout. A point is reached during the reading where the journey of Christine becomes a little repetitive- yet, the author somehow ties the knot amazingly well at the end making every page in the book significant. The success of the book is the empathy derived by Christine. It made me really care for her and I wanted her to reach the finishing line safely.
A very nicely and wisely written book. Looking forward to the author’s other works.