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Before I Go to Sleep
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Before I Go to Sleep

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  306,295 ratings  ·  22,779 reviews
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 forty-seven years old, and a terrible accident two decades earlier decimated her ability to form new memories.

Every day, Christ
Hardcover, 359 pages
Published June 14th 2011 by Harper (first published April 28th 2011)
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Irene Paula...why would you post such a MAJOR SPOILER without hiding it? Right there for all to see! All who didn't read the book yet will have their experi…morePaula...why would you post such a MAJOR SPOILER without hiding it? Right there for all to see! All who didn't read the book yet will have their experience ruined. I enjoyed this book and wish for others to enjoy it as well. Please delete or hide it!(less)

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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  306,295 ratings  ·  22,779 reviews

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Emily May
Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
“What are we, if not an accumulation of our memories?”

I've had my eye on this book since before it was released and last night I decided it was finally time. I really wanted a psychological thriller that would keep me guessing. And did it deliver? Well, let's just say I was up until 2am, partly because this book is unputdownable, and partly because it's a little hard to turn the light off and go to sleep afterwards.

Before I Go to Sleep is about a woman called Christine who wakes up every mo
Jul 21, 2011 rated it did not like it
I only read reviews on Goodreads after I have read a book. I do this because after reading those reviews I wonder if I have read the same book as those reviewing it. Most start by giving a somewhat lengthly explanation of the plot of the book. Why? tell me what you thought. I know what it is about. I want to know what you thought of it. At this point I get really crazy because the opinions almost always are positive. I wish these people were my high school English teachers. I would have gotten A ...more
Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)
Aug 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: miss-trees
I can overlook a lot of bogus-tude for a good story, but this one exceeded my implausibility tolerance threshold. The analytical portion of my brain wants to give this an even lower rating, but it did hold my interest, so I have to be fair. It has a sinister edge that keeps you reading---at least until you start figuring everything out long before it's revealed.

If I listed all the laughable incongruities and convenient coincidences, I'd ruin it for people who just want an absorbing escape read.
Nov 30, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery, audiobook
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed, 2012, for-kindle
My negative attitude is a ruse, I swear it. I am such a positive little outlooker. Nearly every book I read starts off with five stars in my head. It barely has to earn anything; it just has to hold on to what it started with. But wow, this book fell off a cliff or something! What the hell happened??

First let’s back the truck out of these plot holes and start from the beginning.

The premise of this psychological thriller is fairly straightforward. The first person narrator has amnesia. More speci
May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: june-read
June 15th 2am 2011

I am writing this down in my journal
I must do this otherwise I fear tomorrow I might not remember anything.
Anything about the book I read today or about me or my wife, well she says she is.
I woke up this morning and my eyes were cast upon a striking beautiful woman in an even more striking body wearing nice lingerie that fits like a glove.
I have no idea at that moment who she is, she says she's my wife but I don't remember being married! I am trying to piece together my lif
Mo Shah
Jul 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
Argh. What a frustrating book. I want someone else I know to read it so I can discuss it with them, to see if they agree with my conclusion. Sarah, you should read it and let me know what you think.

I really really liked this book in the beginning. The concept, while not strictly novel (I can recall maybe half a dozen stories where amnesia like this features prominently) is utilized to great effect. The mystery is initially built quite satisfactorily, and you're drawn in as a reader.

Fairly soon
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Omg! I am totally speechless. This book was amazing. It had a great plot about a woman who has amnesia and cannot remember her memories from day to day. She begins to keep a journal and remember certain events in her life. From there the book is amazing! I definitely recommend this! If you want a page turning, psychologically thrilling, fall out of your chair book - read this!!!!!!! So damn good!

Side note: I've got to see the film!!!!!!!
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
This book was interesting to say the least!

Woman who can't retain new memories after an accident (wakes up every day not remembering the last), decides to try and improve her condition. She sees a doctor in secret and writes her daily life in a journal she hides from her husband.

I liked how you truly don't know for a while who to trust. Is she crazy? Is her husband lying? Her doctor?

My issues were mostly the weird body part descriptions... I-

Worth a shot!

Ahmad Sharabiani
Before I Go to Sleep, S.J. Watson (Steven J.)

Before I Go to Sleep is the first novel by S. J. Watson published in Spring 2011.

The novel is a psychological thriller about a woman suffering from anterograde amnesia.

She wakes up every day with no knowledge of who she is and the novel follows her as she tries to reconstruct her memories from a journal she has been keeping.

She learns that she has been seeing a doctor who is helping her to recover her memory, that her name is Christine Lucas, that
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, uk, seen-movie
Could. Not. Put. Down.
Such an unusual perspective to come from.

May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Cassy by: CNN 2011 article about summer reads
Sometimes I get flipped around while I sleep. My head ends up where my feet should be. As I wake up and wave my hand in the air for the nightstand, the freak out begins. Where the heck am I? It only lasts a few seconds before I figure it out, but the depth of my disorientation during those few seconds is always surprising to me.

So, the book and I were off to a good start when, on the page one, Christine wakes up confused in a strange room. Unfortunately for her, it is not as simple as seeing th
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
2012 F.A.B. Bookclub pick # I.❤️. F.A.B.

This book has been sitting on my TBR shelf for years. I’m not sure why it took me so long to pick it up. 🤔 Anyway.... It was a pretty good mystery/thriller. I did guess what the outcome would be. 😬 However, the idea of the journal keeping was pretty cool and I was still interested in the story. So overall, I’m happy with it.
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star
I'm astounded that Before I Go to Sleep isn't one of those books that raked in 4.00 stars on average. It's so damn good and the suspense is unrelenting towards the end.

Unfortunately for me, the epub file that I downloaded contained too small letters. Adjusting them whenever I chose to alternate between books was a pain but it was still doable and worth it... Christine is an amnesiac who is trying to relive her past. The book begins slowly and the tension escalates slowly.

Christine is not alone.
Charlotte May
“Soon I will sleep, and my brain will begin to delete everything. Tomorrow i will go through it all again.”

An addictive and frightening thriller.

Christine has a severe memory impairment. Every night when she goes to sleep she forgets everything from the day before. She wakes up each day believing she is 27 years old and single, but soon has to face the truth that she is actually in her fifties and married.

Every morning her husband Ben explains who she is, who he is, what happened to her. But
DO NOT TRUST BEN, but OMG who to trust?

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP begins with a daily existence of the creepy unknown and continues with amazing suspense each day throughout the entire story as amnesiac Christine unravels the mystery of her past.

As bits and pieces of her memories unfold, the shocking truth and terrifying moments of "the accident" come together to disclose a great twist within a unique storyline.

A bit far-fetched here and there, but who cares..........super entertaining! Could Not Put

Sam Quixote
Nov 10, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
(I jump in and out of spoilers throughout – it’s the only way to review this trash - so rather than constantly having to stop myself to write “spoilers”, I’m writing it at the top of the review. Fair warning.)

Christine has a very specific type of amnesia: every day she wakes up not knowing who the man sleeping next to her is. She also forgets that she’s 47 and not in her early twenties as she believes. She forgets that she was in an accident that caused her memory loss, she forgets that she had
Clumsy Storyteller
Nov 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Christine, a middle-aged woman who wakes up every morning with no memory of her life, she has amnesia; every night she falls asleep and forget everything, that's her life which made me really sad for her i loved the story it was well written it was sad no one deserves to go through that struggle every day it was heartbreaking , The ending was really scary it caught me off guard, totally unexpected turn of events.

okay now the movie oh my freaking lord !!! they ruined it , they ruined everything
Dec 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, i-said
What if when you woke up every morning, you could not remember anything of the day before or the day before that. You wake up beside a man. A stranger, who says he is Ben, your husband. He becomes your only sense of belonging by gently, lovingly explaining everything, as much as he seems able, each and every day.

A Dr. calls, on a phone you did not even know you had and convinces you to see him in an effort to try and remember something, anything. He suggests you keep a journal and then calls bac
Jun 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Brenda by: Michael
Wow! What an amazing debut novel! I could not put this book down, it completely captivated me, I was wanting to know what would happen next, I was afraid with her, for what would happen next.....

Christine Lucas (Chrissy) goes to sleep each night, and wakes up in bed with someone she doesn't recognise, the house is unfamiliar, the clothing is not hers! The man she wakes up next to tells her he is her husband, Ben, they have been married for 22 years, they are very happy, and very in love. She had
Andrew Smith
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the whole premise of this story: the memory loss with the lead character having, effectively, a clean slate every day. It put me in mind of another book with a similar slant - The Housekeeper + the Professor by Yoko Ogawa - only this tale is much darker and the Ogawa book doesn't set out to be a mystery thriller.

I think the characterisation is flawless and the story is told brilliantly. Ok, I did start to work out where it was leading towards the end, but this didn't prevent me
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, fiction
An enjoyable read, although slow at times. Unlike others, I did not see the twist coming, but I was musing over the implausibilities of the story line. But hey, unlike real life, this is fiction, anything can happen, and it can all come together neatly at the end.
Doug Bradshaw
Aug 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
From the very first sentence of the book I virtually became the protagonist, an amnesiac struggling to figure out who and where I am and why I'm in bed with this older man in a home I don't recognize and then when I look in the mirror, I barely recognize my reflection: this older woman with wrinkles and body starting to sag a little bit, naked and blank both mentally and physically, totally lost and scared and befuddled.

Every day is the same awakening until with the advice of a therapist, she s
Has anyone seen 50 First Dates?
Hosted by

It's this fun, touching movie about a girl with a medical condition that prevents her from remembering the events of the previous day. This book is like that, only creepier and more depressing.

Imagine waking up every morning and not knowing the person sleeping beside you. Imagine looking in a mirror every morning and not recognizing your own face because you're 20 years older than the last memory of yourself. Imagine not trusting the person claiming to be your husb
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pub-2011
I had to finish reading this book before I went to sleep. I was afraid I would wake up and not remember a thing and would have to start all over again. I haven’t been this engrossed in a book for a long time. I missed my stop, I forgot to pay my bill at the café (I did return today to settle it and said I suffer from temporary memory loss), I bumped into things while read-walking.
It’s no wonder this book sold five hundred gabizzillion copies and translation rights everywhere including Atlantis
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: public-library
The mind is an intricate thing, fragile, open to suggestion. An inkling, a feeling, just a hint of familiarity, can have you going in circles. That thought you just had, is it a memory or an invention? Christine never has the luxury of knowing how to answer that question. A nearly fatal injury 20 some odd years ago left her with a specific type of amnesia that allows no short term memories to be retained. If she sleeps, she forgets. Someone close is lying to her about some very important things ...more
Jan 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
I picked this up somewhat on a whim. A couple of people had been talking about it, and I saw it in the Kindle store, and I just thought... fine, okay. I'll go for it. I read it in about four chunks. It's pretty riveting, actually. The unreliable narrator is reasonably well handled and as long as you're prepared to go along for the ride, it works reasonably well. I guessed the big twist fairly swiftly, then thought I'd got it wrong, and then it turned out my first guess was right. That was pretty ...more
Petra's mechanic says her car isn't worth fixing
If you lose your memory about people and events, then you lose yourself and you become the dupe for any and every scurrilous schemer because how can you tell who your friends are if you don't even remember them? And so it is for Christine who remembers only what she is told that day but can use a diary to remind herself of what she had remembered the day before. If you don't work out the ending, which isn't original but appropriate, then it's a really good read, if you do, well, it's still an ok ...more
Buddy Read with Murugesh

This story is of Christine, who suffers from a special kind of amnesic disease where when she goes into deep sleep, she forgets everything about herself and each day is like living a new life.

She is completely dependent on her husband Ben, to remind her of what her life is like, who she is, where she lives, what she does.....
"I feel like a prospective tenant being shown around a new flat."

This whole set-up reminded me of the movie 50 first dates but something that wa
Jun 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michael by: Michael
I was recommending this book by one of my trusty Goodreads friends and while I wasn’t too sure about it I decided to give it a go. I was thinking this would be a book similar to 50 First Dates but what I go was a book that reminded me more of Memento. Before I Go to Sleep tells the story of Christine Lucas, who is trying to piece back her life after suffering an accident that has caused her to have anterograde amnesia. Chrissy can remember everything that happens to her during the day but as soo ...more
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S J Watson was born in the UK, lives in London and worked in the NHS for a number of years.

In 2011 Watson's debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, was released to critical acclaim. It has now been published in over 40 languages, and has become an international bestseller, winning numerous awards.

The movie of Before I Go To Sleep, starrring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong, was released in 2

Articles featuring this book

With clever detectives, missing jewels, murderous women, daring spies, and more, mysteries and thrillers deliver page-turning delight with...
314 likes · 351 comments
“What are we, if not an accumulation of our memories?” 239 likes
“We’re constantly changing facts, rewriting history to make things easier, to make them fit in with our preferred version of events. We do it automatically. We invent memories. Without thinking. If we tell ourselves something happened often enough we start to believe it, and then we can actually remember it.” 220 likes
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