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Before I Go to Sleep | [S. J. Watson]

Before I Go to Sleep

Christine wakes up every morning in an unfamiliar bed with an unfamiliar man. She looks in the mirror and sees an unfamiliar, middle-aged face. And every morning, the man she has woken up with must explain that he is Ben, he is her husband, she is 47 years old, and a terrible accident two decades earlier decimated her ability to form new memories. Every day, Christine must begin again the reconstruction of her past. And the closer she gets to the truth, the more unbelievable it seems.
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Publisher's Summary

Christine wakes up every morning in an unfamiliar bed with an unfamiliar man. She looks in the mirror and sees an unfamiliar, middle-aged face. And every morning, the man she has woken up with must explain that he is Ben, he is her husband, she is 47 years old, and a terrible accident two decades earlier decimated her ability to form new memories.

But it’s the phone call from a Dr. Nash, a neurologist who claims to be working with Christine without her husband’s knowledge, that directs her to her journal, hidden in the back of her closet. For the past few weeks, Christine has been recording her daily activities - tearful mornings with Ben, sessions with Dr. Nash, flashes of scenes from her former life - and rereading past entries, relearning the facts of her life as retold by the husband she is completely dependent upon. As the entries build up, Christine asks many questions. What was life like before the accident? Why did she and Ben never have a child? What has happened to Christine’s best friend? And what exactly was the horrific accident that caused such a profound loss of memory?

Every day, Christine must begin again the reconstruction of her past. And the closer she gets to the truth, the more unbelievable it seems.

©2011 S. J. Watson (P)2011 HarperAudio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (147 )
5 star
 (53)
4 star
 (47)
3 star
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2 star
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4.0 (85 )
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4.0 (84 )
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  •  
    jennifer corona, ca, United States 09-16-11
    jennifer corona, ca, United States 09-16-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Fabulous book"

    What a great book, I never saw the ending coming. Great read , and exciting ending

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen De Pere, WI, United States 08-28-11
    Ellen De Pere, WI, United States 08-28-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    74
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    20
    10
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    "Well worth the credit"

    I had read other reviews of this novel before purchasing and so was looking forward to a taut psychological thriller/ I wasn't disappointed, but the only reason for 4 stars instead of five is that the thriller part took quite a while to play out. The premise is unsettling: a woman has a rare form of amnesia that means she wakes up each morning not knowing who she is and remembering nothing of her past. I wasn't sure how the author would be able to play that out, but she uses the device of having the character start keeping a journal, so the reader's memories can start to accumulate even if the character's do not. Knowing that this was a psychological thriller, or would eventually turn into one, I didn't fully trust any of the characters, but when the twist came it was played out very well. I think it is well worth a credit.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simone 11-16-12
    Simone 11-16-12 Member Since 2006

    Join me on GoodReads too!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    486
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    464
    330
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    "Great Idea - Disappointing Execution"

    It’s preposterous.

    The idea is a fascinating one I must say; waking up everyday not knowing anything about yourself or your past or your life… but the execution of this great idea was a big disappointment.

    I found that the first part just dragged on too long. “Ok, I get it, I understand the premise… now just get on with the story already”. When the action does finally pick up in the third part and the story goes from mystery to thriller, it also goes from “hmm, what’s going to happen next” to “Oh please, gimme a break!”

    I also did not care for the narration. The constant frantic on the verge of tears tone wore me down.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ella toronto,, Ontario, Canada 12-10-11
    Ella toronto,, Ontario, Canada 12-10-11 Member Since 2005

    Knowledge is knowing the way. Wisdom is looking for an alternative, more interesting road to get there. Audiobooks are that road.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1061
    ratings
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    336
    104
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    Story
    "Like watching paint dry"

    You could easily listen to the first couple of chapters and the last couple of chapters, skip the whole middle and not miss a thing. The author hooked me from the start but then only fed me a drop of information every hour or so. Very slow to build a weak plot that was in place and predictable from the first chapter. Lots of repetition and very little substance. Unlike others, I did not find the narrator to be a problem, I thought she did a pretty good job. Overall the book was just O.K. Not sure what the hype is all about?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michelle cedar creek, TX, United States 08-18-11
    michelle cedar creek, TX, United States 08-18-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very clever..."

    This was one of the best suspense type books I think I've ever read! Just when I was convinced that I knew what was going on, something swayed me back in another direction. This one truly kept me guessing. Great writing, great story, and the perfect narrator for the main character.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aimee Manchaca, TX, United States 06-29-11
    Aimee Manchaca, TX, United States 06-29-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
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    "This book made me a nervous wreck! Loved it!"

    I knew this book was going to be a winner even before it's U.S. release date. I just love it when my intuition is right. The narrator does an excellent job. Full of so much mystery and confusion, you'll be turned around backwards and upside down and still won't know what's happening. It's definitely an Epic Win! But be forewarned, it might cause adrenaline fatigue in the last third of the novel. My heart was racing and my nerves were shot. Good thing I don't bite fingernails, or I would have chewed them off. Great suspenseful read! You won't regret it and might even want to listen to it a second time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA, United States 06-28-11
    Karen HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA, United States 06-28-11 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Poor ending"

    This book was ok. The narration was a little sappy but it was an interesting take on an unusual form of amnesia. However, the ending failed miserably. I was sorry I'd wasted so much time listening. Although the mystery part of the plot was resolved, the protagonist's condition was left unresolved. It could have gone two ways but the author chose to let the reader hang. Irritating.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicola Ferguson North Vancouver, B.C. Canada 05-17-14
    Nicola Ferguson North Vancouver, B.C. Canada 05-17-14 Member Since 2007

    "This teacher says listening to the book is just as good as reading it!"

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Painful Reading"
    Where does Before I Go to Sleep rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I enjoyed this book, but concur with other reviewers that it took a long time to play out.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Make it shorter!


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Orlagh Cassidy?

    From an English person's perspective, Ms Cassidy's English accent was so erratic that it was difficult to listen to. She continually used American pronunciations for words like 'shone' and 'fast' which threw me off. Any native English reader would have been better.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I found the protagonist's condition very moving - an interesting book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Strathroy, Ontario, Canada 09-10-12
    J. Strathroy, Ontario, Canada 09-10-12 Member Since 2007
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    "The dark side of "Fifty First Dates"."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes for a fun read when you want to get away from socially significant serious reading this is your book. Suspense, mystery and a good read. Interesting that the author is male and the protagonist a woman.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The language took a bit of a jarring "male" flavour every so often. Also there was a bit of "a man posing as a woman" showing through a bit. He perhaps should have had a few female friends or relations read it more carefully.


    What does Orlagh Cassidy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator is the voice for the character. She slips seamlessly into the character so that you could not imagine the voice could be any different.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Trust nothing - not even your dreams.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie Nanaimo, BC, Canada 08-26-12
    Jamie Nanaimo, BC, Canada 08-26-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson"

    First I'd like to start this review by stating that I was really looking forward to this book and thought the idea behind it was very intriguing. However, within the first few chapters, it was dragging on so slow, I couldn't believe it. It was literally taking forever, to the point where I started skipping ahead in chapters and still being able to follow along. I essentially read the first quarter of the book, skipped the middle, and then read the last quarter of the book, just to find out what happened. I recently read that this book will be made into a movie, by Ridley Scott, with Nicole Kidman in talks to play the leading lady....I would defiantly see the movie, but would not recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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