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Monday, September 12, 2011

This "Amnesia Thriller" Will Be Hard For the Reader to Forget

Christine wakes up in an unfamiliar house, thinking she's twenty something years old, and having no recognition of the man asleep in the bed beside her.  Trying to figure out what's going on, she discovers the woman staring back at her from the bathroom mirror is someone in her forties and the unrecognizable man turns out to be her husband, Ben.  Thus begins the debut novel Before I Go To Sleep,  by S.J. Watson. It is a terrifying situation to be in, learning upon waking that you have amnesia and can only recall some memories from before an accident that apparently caused this condition.

Every time Christine goes to sleep, her memories are erased and she awakes not knowing anything concrete about her past--no memories of falling in love with her husband, of her wedding day, or even where she went to college.  It is a scarey premise for certain and as the reader, I could feel Christine's terror as she tried to piece together the few memories that would come to her and so afraid of what would happen when she went to sleep.  You can also feel the pain and frustration of her husband who each day explains to Christine what has happened, an agonizing experience for him to be constantly reminded of the fact that the woman he loves doesn't even know who he is.

Christine received a phone call from her doctor who is helping her regain some of her memory.  Each day he calls to remind her to continue writing in the journal she is keeping to record her memories.  But are these memories accurate?  And why does she have "Don't Trust Ben" in the journal?

I knew little of this novel before I started the book, only that the character had amnesia and would forget everything when she went to sleep.  The premise certainly seemed  like a unique one and the author was receiving rave reviews for his first novel.  It was way more than I expected and it is one of those books that you want everyone to read so you can start talking about it--definitely book club material!

When I was about half way through the book I could not put it down.  What I expected to be a novel about a woman with a strange type of amnesia, turned into more than that. It was an excellent psychological thriller that kept me reading until I finished the book.  I was so anxious to find out what really was the story behind Christine--what had really caused this type of amnesia?  Was her husband telling her the truth about her past or lies to protect her?  Could he really be trusted or did he have some secrets hidden for some ulterior motive?  So suspenseful, wonderfully written, and something completely different than I ever expected.

Run to the library to get this one! This "Amnesia Thriller" is one you will not soon forget.

1 comment:

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