Sunday, June 26, 2011

Before I Go To Sleep

Before I Go To Sleep
Author: S.J. Watson
Harper, 2011
368 pages

I discovered this novel on Amazon.com's Best Books of the Month for June 2011 list. Here's the overview: A woman wakes up one morning, only to find a strange man in bed with her. She goes to the bathroom and looks into the mirror, only to see the hands, face, and body of an older (age 47) woman. She freaks out, and the man in bed comes to her rescue, telling her that he's her husband, Ben. Turns out the woman is Christine, and this happens every morning. Christine has a type of amnesia where her memory is erased every time she goes to sleep, due to an injury to her brain from an "accident" when she was in her late twenties.

One morning after Ben leaves for work, Christine gets a phone call from a man named Dr. Nash who claims to be her doctor. Dr. Nash tells her to look in a certain place in her house for a journal. Turns out, Dr. Nash has been working with Christine on the down low, and he had encouraged her to keep a secret journal to record her memories. One of the first things Christine reads in the journal is the cryptic message written in her own hand: Don't Trust Ben.

Let the nail biting begin!

Every day, Christine must piece together clues. As she does, she begins to realize that Ben has lied to her about several key things in her life. Yet he has taken such good care of her since her accident. Or so it appears.

This is a fast-moving read and very cleverly written. I read it during an unusually busy week (we were moving into a new house), so often I could only read a few pages or a few minutes at a time -- which was quite challenging because I wanted to keep reading. The last 50 pages or so are particularly engaging and difficult to put down.

This is a psychological thriller in the true sense, and one of the best I've read in a really long time. I've no doubt that someone in movie land is going to jump on this soon and make a film version -- probably starring someone kind of big (Nicole Kidman comes to mind). Read the book now, and you'll be way ahead of that game. :-)