Book review: Before I Go to Sleep by S J Watson 12 Apr 2012
- Production Commences on Alison Maclean's The Rehearsal Living
- Primary School Children Named Best Handwriters in NZ News
- Diane Foreman says women need help to be entrepreneurs Business
- Cory Jane book signing sessions - Wellington Living
- Kids Can Cook Kitchen and summer POP UP cooking school News
- Baci Short Story Competition focuses on low decile schools News
- Crowds flock to Ellerslie International Flower Show opening Living
- From Hawke's Bay to Berlin - This Way of Life Living
This was the first ebook I have read on my Kindle!! Having not wanted to pack too many heavy books for my recent business trip to China I experimented with an ebook and will definitely be back for more.
Before I Go to Sleep by S J Watson is the debut novel from a British audiologist- apparently written between shifts at the hospital. Anyone who has seen the film “50 First Dates” will instantly recognise the main theme – a woman has lost her memory and each day is a new voyage of discovery about her own identity.
Chrissie, the main character in the novel suffers from a rare form of amnesia brought on by an “accident” years earlier- she wakes every morning beside a man she does not recognise, in a house she cannot identify as her own space and most horrifying in a saggy middle aged body she really does not want to believe is her own. She can only retain memories for 24 hours and sleep wipes out what she has gained from the day. Her source of information about who she is, what she feels, what her life was like and is like now comes only from her husband Ben.
With the help of her doctor who is interested in her unusual case, and unbeknownst to her husband Ben, Chrissie begins to keep a journal to try to help herself to remember. Early on our suspicions are raised about “Ben”- is he really a completely selfless carer who only wants to protect Chrissie…….. or does it suit him for his “yet to be discovered but probably sinister reasons” that she actually cannot remember her own life and it is up to him to educate and manipulate her?
Our suspicions are aroused early on and confirmed by emerging details that show Ben is lying……… but why is the key question?? Why tell her she hasn’t written a novel when she has, why tell her they had no children …………… and then change the story and tell her their soldier son died recently? How convenient that most old photos were supposedly lost in a fire and even more convenient that her best friend emigrated to New Zealand and they lost touch.
The plot has some predictable elements – but nevertheless kept me engaged as Chrissie’s horrifying story slowly emerges. I felt a strong pull to “just read a bit more” to find out what would happen, did they really have a child who died, where was everyone else from her former life………. and of course just who really was Ben??
However, the ending disappointed me somewhat and I found it hard not to question some elements such as the fact that apparently a stranger is allowed to sign out a vulnerable patient with memory issues from a closed ward - and how convenient that under the circumstances none of the staff really knew what her husband looked like.
I found the build up to the climactic ending enjoyably tense, although also frustrating as it irritated me that Chrissie was now able to recount events in a far more detailed way than apparently she should have been given her memory issues. These distractions aside – the ending was satisfying as our questions have been answered.
So – my final verdict.
Gripping and entertaining.. but also a little irritating!
3 Sep 2015 News
Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has today announced funding for 48 new science research programmes, for a total... more
3 Sep 2015 Business News
CORRECT: Government, iwi reach agreement for private housing on Crown land in Auckland (Removes reference to selling land in... more
3 Sep 2015 Business News
Sept. 3 (BusinessDesk) - Air New Zealand, the national carrier, will defend a multi-billion dollar class action in the US... more
10 Aug 2015 Entertainment
20th Century Fox is celebrating Snoopy’s birthday ahead of the release of the first animated Peanuts movie SNOOPY AND CHARLIE... more
6 Aug 2015 Entertainment
Sola Rosa Sound System comes to London on 20 August – NZNewsUK London Editor Charlotte Everett had a chat with frontman Andrew... more
3 Sep 2015 Property
Article - BusinessDesk Auckland house sales climb to 15-year high for month of August, prices stall Sept. 3 (BusinessDesk) -... more
5 Aug 2015 Property
Auckland house price growth stalls in July as properties 'fully priced', Barfoot says Aug. 5 (BusinessDesk) - Auckland house... more
21 Jul 2015 Migration
NZ net migration reaches new annual record in June, swelled by Indian, Chinese students July 21 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand... more
25 Aug 2015 Travel & Tourism
Air NZ to continue alliance with Cathay Pacific, targets Asian tourists Aug. 25 (BusinessDesk) - Air New Zealand's has had its... more
3 Sep 2015 Sport
3 Sept 2015 Emotions ran high on an action packed day four at the 2015 World Rowing Championships with eight New Zealand crews taking... more
25 Aug 2015 Opinion
Gordon Campbell on the flag campaign So far, the public has treated the government’s flag campaign with something between... more
3 Sep 2015 Appointments
Library and Information Advisory Commission Appointments Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced three new... more
5 Aug 2015 Recruitment
The latest labour market data shows continued job growth, with 7,000 more people employed over the last quarter and 69,000 more New ... more
5 Aug 2015 Recruitment
NZ unemployment rate rises to 5.9% as jobs growth lags behind growing population Aug. 5 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's jobless rate... more