BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP
by S. J. Watson
I wish I’d written this ...
... because it's a fantastic idea
Sometimes a book can be sufficiently brilliant for me to recommend despite it having a few issues. This is one of those books. The premise is excellent and for the most part this is a well-told, immersive and intriguing tale. I should warn you, though, that he nature of the plot necessitates a degree of repetition, causing a few instances where recurring phrases feel more like an editorial oversight than a contribution to the story. The middle section drags a little ... it's very obvious that the well-handled creepiness is leading somewhere, but the journey there feels slower than perhaps it should. Also, that destination is rather predictable. In terms of a thrilling ending, from very early on, there could only be one outcome, and it is duly delivered. Finally, right at the end, there's a big chunk of exposition that was unnecessary and clumsily delivered. Having said all that, I was hooked from start to finish and thoroughly enjoyed the book. As debut novels go, this is an impressive one. Were it mine (wish it was!), I'd be proud.
The first paragraph
From the publisher
Christine wakes up every morning in an unfamiliar bed with an unfamiliar man. She looks in the mirror and sees an unfamiliar, middle-aged face. And every morning, the man she has woken up with must explain that he is Ben, he is her husband, she is forty-seven years old, and a terrible accident two decades earlier decimated her ability to form new memories.
Every day, Christine must begin again the reconstruction of her past. And the closer she gets to the truth, the more unbelievable it seems.