Book Review: Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson

I was lent this in a proper, old fashioned book format by a friend – and a number of friends had really enjoyed it. On Facebook it had a bit of a ‘marmite’ response from people – either loved or disappointed (when I posted a photo of it – with my non-alcoholic beer – whilst chaperoning some ten pin bowling 11 year old girls!!)

Beer and book

It’s not a new book (first published in 2011) and has been made into a film (starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman no less – thankfully I had started reading before I knew this, so had already imagined the characters in my head -and they definitely weren’t Colin and Nic!).

This is the Amazon blurb about it:

“Memories define us.
So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?
Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love – all forgotten overnight.
And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.
Welcome to Christine’s life.”

Initially I was really interested in Christine’s life – waking up each morning having forgotten the last 20+ years.  Imagine how horrific it would be to wake up each morning and look in the mirror and see your Mum looking back!?!  Christine then starts to keep a journal so that she can remember things she’s discovered about her past and isn’t starting from a blank page (boom!) each day.

The middle section of the book is supposed to be this journal – and I found this section dull and repetitive and it REALLLLY DRAGGGGGED.  Now I guess that is kind of the point – as it’s exactly what Christine was having to do by re-reading about her life each day – but I didn’t enjoy this bit at all (but I am really impatient!)

The final section picked up again – and was ‘edge of the seat’ exciting (so I read late into the night to finish it!)  I really enjoyed how it all concluded.

So I guess it wasn’t ‘marmite’ for me.  I neither loved it nor loathed it – I just kind of liked it.  Not sure that will ever make the strapline on a book cover….

Having said that – I have downloaded ‘Second Life‘ which is the new book from SJ Watson published a couple of weeks ago (and only £1.88 on Amazon at the moment!).  Partly because I found out that SJ is from the Midlands and we have to support our own!  Oh – and I was surprised Mr Watson is a bloke – I guess because he wrote so well about being a woman.  But then if people write well about murder you wouldn’t expect them to be trained killers………..

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