S.J. Watson. Before I Go to Sleep. New York: HarperCollins, 2011. 360 pages. ISBN 9780062060556.
Before I Go to Sleep tells the story of Christine, a woman who suffers from a form of amnesia in which she cannot form new memories. She's able to remember everything that happens during the course of one day, but she forgets everything overnight. Christine wakes in terror every day, not knowing who or where she is, and in fear of the man in bed beside her, who turns out to be her husband. Every day he tells her who she is and shows her pictures of them together. When Christine is contacted by a doctor who is interested in her case as a research subject, she begins to meet him in secret and keep a journal of what she learns from day to day. Every day he calls and tells her to look for her journal and read it. Each day she remembers and records more and more about herself, her history, and her husband, and eventually she realizes that her husband is lying to her about many things. Can she trust him? Where is their son, who he claims died years ago? Where is her best friend Claire, and why has she abandoned her?
Before I Go to Sleep is a thriller that kept me turning the pages until I finished. I'm impressed that this is S.J. Watson's first book; it's very polished and well-written. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys thrillers and suspense.