Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Before I go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

About the book

This is the story of Christine, who suffers from a rare form of amnesia: her memory is wiped clean every night when she falls asleep. She is married to Ben, but all is not as it seems and with her new doctor she tries to piece together her fragile existence as much as possible. 

What I think 

This book was brilliant! Pacy, moving and well-written. Christine is the main character and aside from her there are only really three other characters: Ben, Dr Nash and Claire (who doesn't feature until much later). It is rare to have so few characters in a book, but in this case it works really well. 

This is an excellent portrayal of a female character by a male author. I was shocked when I found out that the author was a man as I had been so utterly convinced this book had been written by a woman.  

The premise of the book smacks slightly of 50 First Dates, a romantic comedy starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrimore, wherein a young woman wakes up every morning not knowing who she is. A book allows the author to delve a lot deeper and I found the subject matter of amnesia to be portrayed in a convincing and readable way. I later found out that the author is also a trained doctor and this, no doubt, has fed into the plausibility of the plot. This is a thoroughly compelling and recommended read!

About the Author

S.J. Watson (born 1971) is an English writer. He studied Physics at the University of Birmingham and then moved to London where he specialised in the treatment of hearing-impaired children. His debut novel, Before I Go To Sleep, was published in 2011 and won the Crime & Thriller Novel of the Year (2011). It is currently being made into a film. 


  1. Wow... sounds impressive.

  2. Hi, thankyou for commenting and following my blog. Following back : )

  3. When I was reading this book I absolutely loved it, couldn't put it down. But on reflection after finishing it, I noticed quite a few plot holes and was dissatisfied with the ending.

    1. That's a fair point actually. I discussed it with my book group recently (I wrote the review as soon as I'd read it about a month ago) and we also discovered some plot holes. The ending was indeed a little abrupt. I still maintain that for a debut novel, it's very good! I wonder what the film will be like...


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