I was back and forth over this suspense novel, a debut effort from S.J. Watson. So I’ll just say this—if you are easily annoyed by plot contrivances, this is not the book for you. It absolutely requires the reader to suspend common sense as a general rule. And, at the end of the day, that’s OK if you’re just looking to be entertained.
Welcome to Christine Lucas’ world. An amnesiac, she wakes each day thinking she is a young 20-something, only to discover she’s in her 40s, married to a stranger, and has a dead son. She keeps a journal and is notified of its secret location on a daily basis with phone calls from her therapist. The suspense begins when she reads the words, “Don’t trust Ben.” Yeah, Ben. Her husband. Is he helping? Hurting? Are there secrets? Are they scaaaaary? Oh my.
Here was the most difficult part for me—the novel is supposed to be set up as her “journal,” but I had a lot of difficulty buying into that. It reads like a novel—and no one writes in their journal like that, nor do they write scads of prose every day. (Or maybe they do and I am just a crappy journal-keeper. This is quite possible. I’m still trying to write 5 things I am grateful for on April 23, 2003.)
All that said, this makes for a fun weekend read, or something to stash in the car to keep you company at soccer, hockey or basketball practice. I wasn’t moved to tears (“Little Bee”) or yelling “Holy Crap!” (The Night Strangers), but I enjoyed the diversion.
Before I Go to Sleep