Monday, January 2, 2012
Book Review: Before I Go to Sleep
I had read that this was a book that couldn't be put down. I waited weeks on the library's waiting list. When it finally came, and I had time for reading, I read it in the space of 24 hours! It was truly a page-turner. However, my feelings about the book are mixed.
The premise was an interesting one. Christine Lucas suffers from a particular form of amnesia. Every night when she goes to sleep, her memory of her life is erased. She awakens each day with only the memories of her childhood. She cannot remember what happened the day before. Her husband must walk her through her identity and her life's activities. He has placed photographs on the bathroom mirror which identify Christine and Ben, himself, as her husband. Every day he explains to her that she lost her memories when she suffered severe head trauma from an accident. However, as she begins to work with Dr. Nash on keeping a journal of what memories she can access, she begins to realize that her husband is not providing her with the truth.
While it was an interesting idea to explore - the loss of memory and how that shatters one's sense of self and even expectations for a future - it was also tiresome to have to review and repeat the same thing over and over (as it, no doubt, would be to someone who actually suffers from this type of ailment - an actual possibility, since the author attributes the idea to association with real amnesiac patients). Still, I did continue to read on awaiting the solution of what the real truth was and the revelation of what caused Christine to enter this state in the first place.
I still cannot say that I liked it as well as many other reviews I had encountered. It was good, but a bit tedious at times. Given this is a first novel, I'd have to extend kudos to the author for a valiant effort and a stimulating plot idea. The writing is easy to read and the pace sensible. I just didn't find it to be one of my favorites. I suppose it was compelling, but not redemptive in its take-away.