REVIEW: "Before I Go To Sleep", by S.J. Watson

Before I Go To Sleep, by S.J. Watson

Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Susannah Harker
Length: 12 hours 15 minutes
Released: 2011
Provider: Random House Audiobooks

Taken From Goodreads

'As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I'm still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me ...' 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.


It's weird how my reading often seems to form patterns around certain themes. Until very recently I'd never read a book where the protagonist's memory reset while they slept. All of a sudden, I've read two in the last week! The first was Forgotten, by Cat Patrick and you can see my review of that piece of awesomeness here.  

While Forgotten was brilliant,  it it was also clearly written for the YA audience. That is not to undersell it in anyway. It was amazing! Before I Go To Sleep is like the growed-up version of the story.

Christine wakes up every day thinking that she's a child, only to have to confront the image of the ageing woman who looks back at her from the mirror. She has to piece together her existence based on the limited information that she can lean from Ben, the husband she meets for the first time every morning, and the journal her doctor has suggested she keep a secret.

Watson creates tension superbly as Christine's days roll by. Each journal entry is like a piece of a puzzle. As the narrative progresses, the audience, along with the first person, epistolary narrator, begin to realise that some of the pieces she is being given by her husband don't quite fit the picture that is forming through her diary entries. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The narrator, Susannah Harker, has the kind of hypnotic voice that really brings a character to life. Christine's confused and limited perspective allows the story to blossom slowly, intriguingly. The only irk I had with the book was just how excellently it was written. I felt that a woman who woke up thinking she was a child might not have such a sophisticated way with words. Still, that's  not much of an irk, is it? 

This is definitely worth a read. Even better, give it a listen!



  1. Really interesting. So glad you enjoyed it, and glad it was written so well :D

  2. Thanks, Wookie! I recommend it lots. :)

  3. I really like the sound of this one! I saw it on another blog about a month ago, but had forgotten about it... It's on my wishlist, now, though! :)

    Glad you enjoyed it so much!


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