Review: Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson

Watson’s first novel, Before I Go to Sleep, is probably one of the best reads from the newcomers in the genre of suspense in 2011 and the considerable attention that the book received after its release proves this claim. A suspenseful thriller from the start, this novel tells the story of Christine Lucas who wakes up every day not knowing where she is. Her memories disappear every time she falls asleep. Her husband, Ben, is a stranger to her, and he’s obligated to explain their life together on a daily basis–all the result of a mysterious accident that put Christine in this condition.

Christine starts a journal to help jog her memory every day. But one morning, she opens it and sees that she’s written three unexpected words: “Don’t trust Ben.” Suddenly everything her husband has told her falls under suspicion: What kind of accident caused her condition? Who can she trust? Why is Ben lying to her?

This is a book full of psychological complexities in the writing, and as a result might not appeal to mainstream readers who prefer an easy read with a touch of anxiety. Christine doesn’t go out much and this limits the number of possible conclusions. However, it talks in great detail about vulnerable characters in jeopardy. Christine is indeed acutely vulnerable, and Watson has portrayed the femininity of her soul in a great way. The book also also has a nice twist at the end which makes it one of those Aha! books. Overall I recommend this book to the readers who favor psychological thrillers. (Amazon Link to Before I Go to Sleep)