I wanted to write ‘some kind of book review’ but honestly, I can’t tell you much about this book without spoiling the experience for you. Every word I say will be too much so I’ll keep the review fairly short.
“What are we, if not an accumulation of our memories?”Before I go to sleep, SJ Watson
Before I go to sleep tells the story of writer Christine Lucas who suffers from amnesia. Her illness is particular in that way that after a night sleep, her memory is erased. She starts every day over and over again with a blank canvas. You’ll read about a love story, a life story and gain insight to what memory means to every human. It talks about friendship, motherhood and manipulation.
“It’s not life, it’s just an existence, jumping from one moment to the next with no idea of the past, and no plan for the future.”Before I go to sleep, SJ Watson
The book doesn’t really give us an insight about how memory actually works, possible therapies or treatments aren’t explained. What is does is to give you a real sense about how live with amnesia can look like. Instead of being a scientific book, it is a novel and perfect for a summer read. It holds your attention and it is quite exciting. The story builds up in layers and while I almost figured the plot out before ending the book, I was left with two options. I enjoyed the ending as well as I didn’t saw everything coming. The book is the debut of the writer and I may add that I had the smallest feeling that the end wasn’t that worked out as it could be. It worked out quite well but it also left room for improvement.
“…I feel like he’s taking advantage of me. Advantage of my illness. He thinks he can rewrite history in any way that he likes and I will never know, never be any the wiser. But I do know. I know exactly what he’s doing. And so I don’t trust him. In the end he is pushing me away, Dr. Nash. Ruining everything.”Before I go to sleep, SJ Watson
If you are looking for a summer read that is well written, not too complicated and takes your mind out of the daily hustle and bustle, I can recommend this book. It was made into a movie (2014) in starring Nicole Kidman.
This all said and done, I’m still left with some questions about memory. As this post is called book & brains I will follow up with a post about memory tomorrow. Before I go to sleep did peak my interest into that particular area again and thus it became inspiring for me.
Thank you for reading and feel free to let me know in the comments if you read this book already or you are planning too. Have you maybe seen the movie and can you tell me your opinion about it.
Notes and references.
Wikipedia page about the movie ‘Before I go to sleep‘. Contains spoilers!
Picture credits click here.