Thursday, 1 March 2012

Before I Go To Sleep S J Watson

So I missed the actual meeting as I had actually given birth earlier in the day (rubbish excuse I know) however I was kept updated with what score it was awarded and I have remembered so my New Years resolution has not failed yet.

The book is very new and 'of the moment' being a TV Book Club book and (correct me if I'm wrong) a Richard and Judy book something that we had generally steered clear of before, purely because of their mass popularity and I had created the book club to try to enlarge my sphere of usual reading. It was recommended to me by a work colleague who hadn't actually read it yet so was a bit of a risk all round.

The book is about a woman who wakes up everyday not knowing who she is due to an 'accident' a number of years ago. Everytime she falls asleep her memory is once again reset to her teenage/early adult years. Concept wise you immediately think of the film, 50 First Dates starring Drew Barrimore. The film is very far from the books take on this however.

The book only really has 3 characters but Watson managed to keep the interest and kept (at least me) guessing to the very near end. I was convinced the Doctor was feeding her lies just as much as I was convinced that her husband was not all he seemed as he said he loved her too many times to be believed (guess I'm a cynic). Yet I didn't guess the end and didn't feel that I had been lead up the garden path like I have done recently by other authors trying to keep the reader from guessing the end.  

I really questioned how I would cope waking up everyday not knowing who I was lying next to. Granted you would forget everything when you fell asleep but the despair you must feel by the end of the day to realise tomorrow you will have to learn everything all again must be overwhelming.

Similarly on the flip side having to be the one who remembers and who has to explain everyday to your spouse who you are must also be sole destroying. How any one could forge any sort of life out of that situation was beyond me and so looking back you could understand why Ben did what he did

I was also puzzled by Dr Nash. Was he leading Christine on? Or was this just Christines impression that was imposed on the reader? Was he just using her to publish his findings? I certainly thought his ethics were brought in to question on more than one occasion and that he was taking advantage of her isolation.

I was surprised to find out that a man wrote it. I had assumed that as the book was from a womans point of view the author was female. I found it interesting as Christine goes into dept about her body, dressing in certain clothes and even having sex from a womans point of view. Christine obviously feels her body is alien to her so perhaps being a man helped with this sense of alienation. 

The book all wound up a little bit too nicely, and I questioned how exactly a woman with no memory was released from the unit she was staying in by the man who put her their. But if you just went with it I found it a real page turner and really enjoyed the journey to the end point.

I know some people didn't like the fact that the reader was left wondering whether Christine remembered anything in the morning without her diary. I personally thought she would and if she didn't she had shown capability of remembering so with a similar diary she could get to that point again.

Perhaps it was because of these reasons that the group only gave it a 7. I personally gave it a 9. Just don't stop to think about it too deeply.

PS Thank you for the flowers, card and Edies first book - I absolutely loved the idea