Sunday 4 December 2016

Review: Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson

(Doubleday, €15.20) Paperback

Published 21/05/2011 | 10:55

Christine is a 47-year-old writer who, following a catastrophic accident in her mid-20s, is incapable of maintaining new memories.

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She wakes up every morning believing she is a young single woman with an exciting future ahead of her, but is shocked not only to find a middle-aged man asleep in bed beside her but by the fact she doesn't recognise the face or body she sees in the bathroom mirror.

The man turns out to be her husband, Ben, and each morning he explains to her who she is and what happened to her.

However, unknown to Ben, Christine has been approached by psychologist Dr Nash, who suggests she keep a secret journal to record her fragmentary recollections.

But the story that begins to emerge seems to be strangely different from that which Ben tells her when she wakes. Watson's debut thriller about a rare condition is beautifully written, genuinely unsettling and scary.

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