Number of pages: 372
S.J. Watson's debut novel opens with its narrator, Christine, waking up next to an apparent stranger and having no idea where she is or who the man is, until he tells her that he is Ben, her husband.
Christine has amnesia, bought on by an incident that occurred twenty years ago; she forgets everything about the last twenty years every time she falls asleep, and wakes up with no memory.
In the opening chapter of the novel, she is told my her therapist that she has been keeping a journal, which she promptly finds, marked with the text, "Do not trust Ben". Unsure of why she has written this, she starts reading her own journal.
The journal itself takes up about half of the book, and slowly reveals that Christine's life isn't quite as it first appears and shows that she occasionally has flashbacks of incidents from many years ago, triggered by visiting the locations where they occurred, some of which involve an old friend who she has no recollection of.
I found this book to be compelling, mostly because of the constant revelations throughout the narrative, and a number of plot twists, some of which I saw coming, and others that came as a complete surprise. The ending was shocking, but also satisfying and wrapped up all the loose ends in the story. This was a book I'd not heard of before, but I'd love to read more books by S.J. Watson.
Next book: Seeing and Savouring Jesus Christ (John Piper)