Every morning Christine wakes up surprised to find she has aged twenty years and that the strange man in her bed is her husband. Each night, as she sleeps, her memory is wiped clean. Although this is the same premise as the comedy film, 50 First Dates, with Drew Barrymore, S.J. Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep is not funny. This gripping mystery thriller will have you wondering from the beginning who and what is behind Christine’s mysterious dilemma.
As her husband feeds her restricted information in small doses – pictures on bathroom mirrors, a scrapbook of the few pictures remaining from the fire that destroyed most of the family memorabilia, Christine suspects he is lying to her, and only revealing part of the history she cannot remember. She secretly meets with a doctor specializing in memory loss, and as she records her impressions in a journal, she begins to remember swatches of events and people from her past. Although she is beginning to remember, the disconnect between her flashbacks and the story her husband tells her about her past keeps her from revealing the journal to him. Who can she trust? Is her husband lying to protect her or for some other reason? Visions of Ingrid Bergman in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Gaslight” flashed through my head, as I read.
Watson keeps the suspense taut, slowly unraveling the details to a surprise ending. I couldn’t stop reading.
Caution: If you start reading this before bedtime, you will not get to sleep until you finish.