There are some books that once started, there’s simply no stopping. In my experience, these books are few and far between, so when you do land yourself with a novel that invades your brain and engages you to the point where literally all you can do is plonk yourself down with a cup of tea and devour its pages, go with it. Don’t put off the reading for other (possibly more important) things, dive into the pages and finish that glorious book.
I had such an experience last week when I started reading S.J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep. I had bought this book some time ago and left it sitting on my bookshelf for far too long. In all honestly, I started reading Before I Go to Sleep not thinking much of it at all. I wasn’t expecting to be thrilled by this novel; really I just wanted to get it off my enormous TBR list. And maybe this lack of expectation played a part in my experience of reading this book. I had heard very little about it before opening its pages. I knew it had received some acclaim when it was published, and had later gone on to be a film starring Nicole Kidman, but that was it. I was not expecting to get so hooked on this book. I truly loved it. The plot, the writing, the perceptions of Christine, the protagonist. I loved it all. I started this book on Thursday evening, and finished it on Friday afternoon. It took me less than 24 hours to read the 359 page paperback.
For those of you who haven’t read or heard of Before I Go to Sleep, it follows the story of Christine and her husband Ben. After an accident left her with severe memory problems, Christine lives life day to day. Every morning she starts over fresh and can’t remember anything of the day before. In fact, most mornings she wakes up thinking it’s 20 years in the past. Her life is recounted for her by Ben. Things begin to change when Christine begins seeing Dr Nash, a man convinced he can help her regain her memory. Reminiscent of Christopher Nolan’s 2000 film Momento, Before I Go to Sleep was a psychological thriller that made me question the authenticity of every experience, every memory and every relationship.
I loved the experience of reading this novel. Before I Go to Sleep was not the best novel I have ever read, but the entertainment I derived from it was wonderful, and I truly loved how engaged I was in this book. As I said, finding a book that truly grips you and has you desperate to keep reading is something that doesn’t happen often enough. There’s something so satisfying about finishing a book that really interests you. Finishing a book at all always comes with some sense of accomplishment, but closing the pages on a story that has completely infiltrated your mind and captured your imagination is a completely different sensation entirely, and one that I search for in every new novel I read.
If every book I read was as engaging as Before I Go to Sleep, I would be a very happy woman. Although, I wonder if having mix in what I read, with some good, some great and some plain awful, is what allows me to appreciate the good when it’s in front of me.
Click here to buy your copy of Before I Go to Sleep by S.J Watson from Booktopia.