A horrible accident has robbed Christine Lucas of her memory. Every day she looks in the mirror there is a stranger staring back at her. Who is she? How old is she? Did she just suddenly appear one day? Every day she must fill in the past of the days before. Her journal helps fill in the gaps because by morning everything Christine has learned will be gone. In addition to her journal, all Christine has to rely on are her husband Ben and Dr. Nash. Both men care deeply for Christine, but she constantly has doubts about them. I did, too.
Her own writing tells her not to trust Ben. But is that the paranoia speaking or is it genuine? This man lives and breathes for Christine. Every day he suffers through the pain of his wife's illness. Isn't that love? Who would stay through that? It's torture every day. It isn't much better for Christine. She is an adult, but sometimes feels like a child playing dress up. Dr. Nash meets with Christine frequently to work on her memory. He takes her to her former home, hoping to jog her memory. It does, but retaining the memory is the problem. She can remember fragments of her past, like parties with her friend Claire and some intimate moments with her husband. The fragments don't add up to a lot. They only serve to deepen Christine's despair.
While Ben comes across as a doting husband, there are moments when I joined in Christine's paranoia. When Christine asks for details from their past, Ben isn't very descriptive. He drops little nuggets, but never the full truth. Ben tells Christine she was hit by a car, but never gives her details about the accident. Is it his form of protection? How much can he tell Christine without upsetting her? Does he even want her to remember? Or is Ben content to have Christine dependent on him? Those little details just aren't enough. Christine needs more. In order to move forward, she needs to know about the past. I'm so tempted to give away more of the book, but I won't. But I will say that Ben's lies start to catch up with him.
Memories shape who we are, if those are taken away what do we have left? What if your sanity was tested every time you woke up? I didn't see the ending coming, but thinking back the clues behind the mystery were there. The last 70-80 pages were so creepy, I was starting to speed read just so I could get to the end. The story starts out very benign. Watson slowly builds the suspense. By the middle of the book, you're hooked. I hear the movie rights have been sold. Before I Go To Sleep was an AWESOME book, and I'm sure it will be an AWESOME movie.
Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (HarperCollins) in exchange for an honest review.