Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel by S J Watson

Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2011: Every day Christine wakes up not knowing where she is. Her memories disappear every time she falls asleep. Her husband, Ben, is a stranger to her, and he’s obligated to explain their life together on a daily basis–all the result of a mysterious accident that made Christine an amnesiac. With the encouragement of her doctor, Christine starts a journal to help jog her memory every day. One morning, she opens it and sees that she’s written three unexpected and terrifying words: “Don’t trust Ben.” Suddenly everything her husband has told her falls under suspicion. What kind of accident caused her condition? Who can she trust? Why is Ben lying to her? And, for the reader: Can Christine’s story be trusted? At the heart of S. J. Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep is the petrifying question: How can anyone function when they can’t even trust themselves? Suspenseful from start to finish, the strength of Watson’s writing allows Before I Go to Sleep to transcend the basic premise and present profound questions about memory and identity. One of the best debut literary thrillers in recent years, Before I Go to Sleep deserves to be one of the major blockbusters of the summer. –Miriam Landis

Review

“An exceptional thriller. It left my nerves jangling for hours after I finished the last page.” (Dennis Lehane )

“Memories—real, false, and a bit of both—are at the heart of Watson’s haunting, twisted debut. . . . Watson handles what could have turned into a cheap narrative gimmick brilliantly, building to a chillingly unexpected climax.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review) )

“Brilliant in its pacing, profound in its central question, suspenseful on every page and satisfying in its thriller ending.” (Anita Shreve )

“Watson’s debut novel unwinds as a story that is both complicated and compellingly hypnotic. . . . Watson’s pitch–perfect writing propels the story to a frenzied climax that will haunt readers long after they’ve closed the cover on this remarkable book.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review) )

“A deft, perceptive exploration of a fascinating neurological condition, and a cracking good thriller.” (Lionel Shriver )

“An intriguingly fresh look at the amnesia-focused psychological thriller. . . . A captivating and highly suspenseful read, populated with believable characters who lead the reader through a taut, well-constructed plot.” (Library Journal )

“The summer’s single most suspenseful plot belongs to BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP. . . . pure page-turner.” (New York Times )

“Imagine drifting off every night knowing that your memories will be wiped away by morning. That’s the fate of Christine Lucas, whose bewildering internal world is rendered with chilling intimacy in this debut literary thriller. . . . You’ll stay up late reading until you know.” (People (4 stars) ) “This mesmerizing, skillfully written debut novel works on multiple levels. It is both an affecting portrait of the profound impact of a debilitating illness and a pulse-pounding thriller whose outcome no one could predict.” (Booklist (starred review) )

“Quite simply the best debut novel I have ever read.” (Tess Gerritsen )