heaven_ali (heaven_ali) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

#15 Before I go to Sleep - S J Watson (2011)

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.

Before I go to Sleep – is a psychological thriller. Not really my kind of read generally. There does seem to be quite a bit of a buzz about this book. I have seen many many tweets about it – and there are lots of reviews on Amazon I got this book via bookcrossing and the Birmingham big city read – hosted by Birmingham libraries. One of the librarians from Birmingham central library attended a recent bookcrossing meet up and passed around some copies of this book. I was unable to attend that meet – but someone saved me a copy of the book. I decided - as it was a Birmingham big city read book – that it would be nice to read the book myself before passing it on. I had seen that there were a lot of excellent reviews of this book on Amazon and so I was hopeful of a great reading experience.
This is definitely the kind of book that hooks the reader straight away; I couldn’t help but read it compulsively and in great chunks. I needed to find out the answers to Christine’s past. I have been very late getting to sleep myself the last two nights. However I found, after having read several amazing books recently – beautifully written with great depth of feeling wonderful characterisation and description – that this was rather anaemic. I’m afraid I found the writing to be rather flat, the characters lacking any real depth. This novel for me was the book equivalent to fast food – you chomp it down, sort of enjoying it yet all the time conscious that it will leave you vaguely unsatisfied.
I can’t say too much about the novel without giving away spoilers which I don’t want to do – suffice to say – the plot hangs together very well – although there were no real surprises at the end. The story of Christine who wakes every day not knowing who she is, needing to be told the details of her life over and over and over again is chilling and rather disturbing. I can understand many people enjoying this novel enormously it’s a page turner a great piece of escapism, but maybe it’s not really my kind of book.


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