The tale of amnesic Christine trying each day to put the pieces of her life together in “Before I Go to Sleep” was a suspenseful version of “Fifty First Dates.” The fast pace of the story pulled me right into the world of amnesia, while emitting the same frantic feeling that the Christine begins to feel as she searched for answers about her life before and after an accident that prevented her from retaining new memories. The author’s use of amnesia as a platform for such a suspenseful thriller was a refreshing new idea that created a perfectly timed tale filled with believable and multi-dimensional characters.
Christine awoke up everyday confused by the bed she was in and the man sleeping next to her. It was only once she saw the pictures on the bathroom mirror of her and the stranger that she understood they were married, and that she was in her own house. Each morning, her husband Ben, explained to her that she was struck by a hit-and-run driver several years ago, and after lingering in a coma, she could only able to retain the memories from each day until she fell asleep. One morning after Ben left for work, Christine’s phone rang and a Dr. Nash explained that he was helping her regain her memory. He calls her every morning to tell her about the journal she keeps in her closet to document new memories. She didn’t believe him until she found the journal just where she placed it the night before. On the first page, she had written, “Don’t trust Ben.”
The book was largely made up of Christine’s journal entries, but read easily. As Christine delved further in what caused her accident, she learned that her injury was actually caused when she was attacked in a hotel room by a man with whom she was having an affair. Through her treatment with Dr. Nash, they try to jog her memory by taking her to her prior home, a cafe she frequented, and the mental institution where Christine lived for several years when she was unable to recognize her family and often ended up wandering the streets. Suddenly, Christine discovers that many of the things Ben tells her are not true.
Her quest to reclaim her life was a gripping psychological ride with a surprise ending. I thought the plot was very original and creative! I can’t believe this has not been made into a movie. I really enjoyed the themes and characters. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is ready to immerse themselves into a world of amnesia and the terror that can result when a person only knows who they are based on what they are told by others.