Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Before I Go to Sleep by C.J. Watson

So this was the other book about a woman losing her memory.  Unlike, What Alice Forgot, this one is not at all light-hearted or fun.  This is incredibly creepy and disturbing.

Every morning Christine wakes up not knowing where she is, or who she's with.  Her husband tapes pictures around the room with explanations.  He says they've been married for years, they're very much in love.  He writes notes a white board in the kitchen, suggestions of how she can spend her day.  She then goes to bed and forgets everything during her sleep, and wakes the next morning and goes through it all over again.

One day though, she gets a call from a doctor who says he's been helping her for a while.  She has a journal in which she writes down everything.  The doctor calls her every morning and tells her about the journal.  He says they're making progress.

Every once in a while she remembers an event, or a person, but she has no context with which to place these memories. 

I read this book very quickly.  It was due at the library and I didn't want to have to put my name back on the waiting list.

This book reminded me of the Mary Higgins Clark books I used to read. I loved those books when I was younger, as in high school days. But then I grew tired of them. I could guess the ending within the first few chapters. Same with this book. Mid-way through, I already suspected what was happening, but read it too quickly to really dwell on it.

But in the end, I was disappointed. Also, the story was too far-fetched for me. The daily vanishing memory was a little too hard to accept. A doctor so concerned and involved that he called her every day but didn't even suspect what was actually happening?   The friends and family who simply disappeared from her life?  Most of all though, I didn't like the overt moralizing of the story, as if Christine somehow deserved what had happened to her.  It's obvious this book was written by a man, and if I'd known that in advance I probably wouldn't have read it.  (I'm very particular about books written by men.  It has to be an author with which I'm familiar or has a lot of great reviews from people I respect.)  The more I thought about it, the angrier I got.  This felt very much like what I imagine to be the perverted sexual fantasies of a deranged man. 

It held my interest, I couldn't stop reading it once I started because I was anxious to find out what happened next. It's very suspenseful and it certainly left an impression.  The night after I finished that book, I had some horrible nightmares relating to this story.  In hindsight, I wish I'd not read this book.

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