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Before I Go to Sleep
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Group Reading > June '12 book discussion

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message 1: by Zoe (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zoe | 355 comments Mod
Here we'll discuss the June book of the month.


message 2: by Ginger (new)

Ginger (afreespirit) | 14 comments My "real life" book club read Before I Go to Sleep last month, and it was awesome! You're going to love it!


message 3: by Connieb (new) - added it

Connieb (otherwordly) | 20 comments I'm waiting for my copy, it'll be a week or so. Sounds interesting so I hope I can get to it right away.


Stephanie (quiltsrme) I just started the audiobook today and immediately recognized the story from the drew Barrymore movie. I liked the movie so looking forward to continuing the story. This is one of the rare audiobooks I've heard with a British speaker. Quite like her voice.


message 5: by Mya (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mya (myalmg) | 10 comments I started it last night and I agree with Stephanie, it sounds like the 50 First Dates movie but perhaps with a twist? I also can't help but compare it to the movie Memento. Looking forward to finding out more.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I've begun reading. While I'm not terribly interested in whodunnit types of books, I'm fascinated by this journey into the mind of someone with amnesia. How she has to decide on a daily basis who to trust...over and over. How she wonders if she's had this same conversation with her husband every day for years. This has to be a very frightening and humbling existence.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

A friend just posted this poem on FB by a poet who died last year. It seems very appropriate to this book we are reading.

“This Strangeness in My Life" by Ruth Stone

"It is so hard to see where it is,
but it is there even in the morning
when the miracle of shapes
assemble and become familiar,
but not quite; and the echo
of a voice, now changed,
utterly dissociated, as though
all warmth and shared sweetness
had never been. It is this alien
space, not stark as the moon,
but lush and almost identical
to the space that was. But it is not.
It is another place and you are not
what you were but as though emerging
from the air, you slowly show yourself
as someone else, not ever remembered.”


message 8: by Zoe (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zoe | 355 comments Mod
Just got this from the library. I promise not to ask for much hand holding, but it looks a wee but scarier than what I usually read. Perhaps because losing my memory (even just misplacing something) really scares me. This push anyone elses buttons?


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Zoe wrote: "Just got this from the library. I promise not to ask for much hand holding, but it looks a wee but scarier than what I usually read. Perhaps because losing my memory (even just misplacing something..." My memory isn't very sharp, but this book does push it to an extreme. If Christine wasn't so courageous, I would find it more unsettling.

Another button this book pushes for me is that my mother is pretty far gone into dementia. She still remembers who people are, although details get very confused, if not downright delusional. For example, she remembers her grandson by name, and knows who he is, but thinks he's living in her closet.

Again, if my mom weren't so darn cheerful and happy all the time, what's happening to her would frighten me much more than it does.


message 10: by Zoe (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zoe | 355 comments Mod
Yowza, Kathryn. Well, on the upside, maybe she loves her grandson and it's wishful thinking! And I can identify with all that too, as my mother died of cancer she got very confused, my paternal grandparents had Alzheimers, and my in-laws are not mentally sharp.

Needless to say, it keeps me excercising, taking vitamins, and doing the Sudoku!


message 11: by Connieb (new) - added it

Connieb (otherwordly) | 20 comments Kathryn wrote: "A friend just posted this poem on FB by a poet who died last year. It seems very appropriate to this book we are reading.

“This Strangeness in My Life" by Ruth Stone

"It is so hard to see where i..."


That's a beautiful poem, Kathryn, true and to the point.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Zoe wrote: "Yowza, Kathryn. Well, on the upside, maybe she loves her grandson and it's wishful thinking! And I can identify with all that too, as my mother died of cancer she got very confused, my paternal gra..."

Couldn't agree more, Zoe. And add reading and discussing books to that list! And knitting and designing patterns! My perceptions get sharper as my vision requires wearing my glasses more often haha!


Julie Waldman (floribunda) Yahoo says there is a movie "in development" with Nicole Kidman planned for the lead.

I gulped down the first 100 pages last night; I'm not usually much of a suspense reader but this grabbed me right away and I'm looking forward to the rest.


message 14: by Mya (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mya (myalmg) | 10 comments The more I read this book the harder it is to put down. I also just found out that they are making it into a film: Ridley Scott’s production company, Scott Free, and Rowan Joffe directing it. I guess filming starts this year (plenty of time for me to finish reading it, haha)


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm usually disappointed by a movie after reading the book. It takes an unusual production to be able to include enough of the necessary details; and once your imagination has done its magic sometimes Hollywood's interpretations are less than stellar.

Case in point: The DaVinci Code. The book was fabulous. Tom Hanks was not who I imagined in the lead role. For me, he ruined the movie. Not to mention my issues with the directing, film editing, and so on and on.

I prefer non-Hollywood movies, oddball that I am. I rarely see a celebrity that I think is believable as a "regular guy" character, so I'm skeptical about Nicole Kidman in this role. One notable exception: Glenn Close made me forget she was a woman! not just that she's an actress, in Albert Nobbs.


message 16: by Sarah (last edited Jun 12, 2012 12:24PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 3 comments Hi, I'm new to the group and thought I'd join in on this month's book reading. I picked up the book last week and it was so good I finished it in 2 days. It's very well written and I enjoyed following Christine's journey throughout. Not so sure about the end... but I'll hang on to those thoughts until more of you finish it!

I just can't imagine how I'd handle waking up and feeling what Christine feels every single day of her life. It sure makes you step back and think.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi Sarah. I'm still reading and thinking. What she says about "how are we different from animals if we can't remember anything from one day to the next?" is something to think about, for sure.


message 18: by A. (new) - rated it 4 stars

A. (almas) | 13 comments I had four books in hand..left them all after reading the first few pages...it's captivating


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

I've finished the book. I seem to have a hard time finishing most books; it takes an exceptional writer to keep me engaged til the end. Not this one. Even though I have so much else to do, the last quarter of the book I could barely put it down. Now, back to life haha.


Julie Waldman (floribunda) I finished last night -- what a troubling and twisted premise!


message 21: by Zoe (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zoe | 355 comments Mod
I'm still only a little way in, but wow! It's interesting as a concept novel (it kind of can't be character driven if the character is wiped clean every night....for that matter, can you really form a 'personality' if you aren't mentally or emotionally aging from the point of the accident?) love books like this that raise lots of questions that don't NEED to be answered. And just a really fabulous read!


Nicola | 5 comments I read this a little while ago. I was enthralled and read it rather quickly. I found that it was really well written, and such a captivating story line. While Zoe suggested that it cannot be character driven, and I agree, I also found myself really drawn to Christine. I felt that I knew her better than she knew herself - and I wanted to keep learning more.
I agree with Sarah - this really makes you step back and think. I hope this never happens to myself or the ones I love!


message 23: by Mya (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mya (myalmg) | 10 comments Just finished it today. It certainly was a quick read. It really makes you value your memory and how much we take it for granted.


LikeTheSeason Just great ... couldn't put it down. It really worked for me as a psychological thriller, and the questions it raised about memory and identity were fascinating to ponder. Now I'm about to start Alice LaPlante's "Turn of Mind," about a recently retired surgeon in the early stages of Alzheimer's who is suspected of killing her best friend. Has anyone else read it? I'll be interested to see how the two compare.


Stephanie (quiltsrme) Finished the book. It's a great book. I listened to it using the audiobook version. This made it a little hard to figure out what was reading the journal and what was action, but ultimately, it didn't matter.

I appreciate how the author included the fact that she had frequent panic attacks and anxiety, because that is exactly what happens when you realize you have a memory problem. Great book. I would have never read it had it not been a book group choice and I feel better for it. :)


Blair I just started reading last night, so I'm waiting to read comments until I finish (to avoid spoilers if they exist). I'm enjoying it so far, but did anyone notice the discrepancy at the end of November 12? She talks about Ben being home soon, but he got home 3 pages earlier. Sloppy editing kills me. It also reminds me to unclench a little and not let that ruin the rest of the story. Can't wait to read all the comments when I'm done!


message 27: by Zoe (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zoe | 355 comments Mod
I didn't notice that one, but I'm having a tough time with some of the journal entries......the type that say " I finished writing and went to bed", but how could she remember to write that later? I don't really mind, it's kind of a "let's pretend" agreement like you have when watching a play, but still, it was noticeable. Ournal style is tough to write anyway, but this premise makes it even tougher on the author.


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

The whole thing is complicated by the fact that she remembers more each day and her memories are fragmented and incomplete. The trauma blocked certain memories, ones that her psyche has labeled as unsafe. As fractured as her life is, I didn't catch any of these discrepancies, and since I have returned the book to the library, I can't review any of it.

I'm fascinated by what our minds do and don't do. My memory is less than stellar. I remember what impacts me emotionally and forget most of the rest. Numbers mean next to nothing to me, as I knit I cannot remember anything but the most simple patterns. I have to have it written down and in front of me most of the time.


Blair I will take the odd-woman out (I didn't notice any guys posting, but apologize if you are there) stance on this one - I didn't like it at all. I did enjoy everyone's comments though and I'm glad everyone else enjoyed it. On the main review list, it was really mixed, so I have company somewhere.

The questions it raises about memory/memory loss are certainly intriguing. @Kathryn, I find it fascinating that you remember emotional events and not numbers. I'm your opposite:)

Well, onwards and upwards. Fingers crossed for July's read.


Angie (angieandre) | 2 comments I thought this book was great. In the beginning I though it would be tedious butI think the author maintained a fast paced interesting read! I never like to try to figure out what is happening in a thriller like this one. I enjoy letting the book unfold around me. I knew something wasn't right but I didn't expect the twist until the very end. Excellent first thriller by S.J. Watson


message 31: by A. (new) - rated it 4 stars

A. (almas) | 13 comments I reached page 121 where she discovers she had a son who died in war and Ben told her that her best friend Claire moved to New Zealand...and I sense some exaggerations in her life's events... or Ben is lying too much

I stopped at this page not because I was tired or i had something to do, but because I felt frustrated beyond hope...I can't imagine a life like this


Rachel Murphy (facelikefizz) | 90 comments Mod
I'm whizzing through this book. I've rushed home from work so I can get back to it. Forget housework and cooking (and knitting) - I'm doing nothing but reading this afternoon!


Rachel Murphy (facelikefizz) | 90 comments Mod
Finished. Ever so slightly disappointed with the end. The suspense level seemed to decrease at final 20%, just as I felt it should be increasing. Highly enjoyable none-the-less.


message 34: by T (new) - rated it 4 stars

T (tdoeswool) | 1 comments Started the read on June 17th and finished it today June 19. A fast, somewhat predictable yet intriguing read..great summer group choice.


message 35: by Kim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kim Degener (kimcracksabook) | 5 comments I finished this book up today. It was a quick read that kept my attention, and while I enjoyed it for the most part, the end was something of a disappointment. I would recommend it, though.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Kim wrote: "I finished this book up today. It was a quick read that kept my attention, and while I enjoyed it for the most part, the end was something of a disappointment. I would recommend it, though."

I'm curious how you were disappointed in the ending, as so was I, chances are not in the same way?

I agree with T that this was a somewhat predictable read, and that includes the ending. If I were to suggest an alternative to how this book was written, I would place more emphasis on Christine and her predicament and write the violence out of the story. In fact, write Mike out of the story.

Since Ben never remarried, what was the point of the divorce, other than to introduce the twisted Mike? I guess it was to bring Christine out of the crazy ward and into society to the degree that she could interact with the doctor.

I guess this is just my psyche coming out of the closet haha. My partner and I watched a David Lynch movie last night, which showed me once and for all that I don't enjoy "creepy" one bit. Mike was creepy.

The thought of living with someone who could flip out that easily, moving at lightning speed from being madly in love with you to bashing your face into the floor, and then the next morning you've forgotten everything...is unspeakably horrible.

I would rather have been able to contemplate Christine's situation without the added drama of a violent psycho. And the ending? It was ok, but you're left with feeling like she'll keep getting better. I'd rather have more interaction between her and "the people who love her" before the book ends. After all, Mike professed to love her too. So I'm left with doubts.


message 37: by Kim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kim Degener (kimcracksabook) | 5 comments Kathryn wrote: "Kim wrote: "I finished this book up today. It was a quick read that kept my attention, and while I enjoyed it for the most part, the end was something of a disappointment. I would recommend it, th..."
I guess most of my disappointment stems from feeling like there are a lot of loose ends and unanswered questions. Plus, I found it really disturbing that Christine was so obsessed and in love with her son, and not only did he not visit her, but months went by and he didn't even call and check on her. I could forgive him not visiting if it's upsetting for everyone, but you'd think he would at least monitor his own mother's care.


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Kim wrote: "Kathryn wrote: "Kim wrote: "I finished this book up today. It was a quick read that kept my attention, and while I enjoyed it for the most part, the end was something of a disappointment. I would ..."

I wonder about all three of those who "loved her so much." Since Mike went out of his way to keep an eye on her, even if he had to visit someone else in the hospital...why wouldn't her best friend, son, husband do something similar?

Bah, I just wish the doctor was portrayed more as someone who knew something, or at least thought he knew something, and not just a young guy observing and taking notes and furthering his own career.


message 39: by Nicola (last edited Jun 21, 2012 11:11AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nicola | 5 comments Wow. You guys are really making me rethink this book. I approached it as Christine's story, and while disappointed that her loved ones had not been there for her saw it as secondary to the story rather than abandonment. Now however - would Christine have recovered quicker if they had stood by her side? Hmmm ...


Sarah | 3 comments I also wondered why those who loved her most did not check up on her more.
And I also kept waiting for the doctor to reveal some crazy twist, but that never came.

What I really want to know though, was did Christine recover, or not? That was my disappointment with the ending. There were loose ends, but I felt the most disappointment when the author left the end open. I dislike books that leave you hanging or require you to come up with your own conclusion. I guess I'm a lazy reader!


message 41: by Mya (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mya (myalmg) | 10 comments Speaking of loose ends I kept waiting to find out the connection with the woman living in Christine's former house (when she and the doctor went to visit the women kept acting disappointed when Christine didn't remember anything about the house). I had wondered if that was some relative or something but I don't think it was ever revisited.


message 42: by A. (new) - rated it 4 stars

A. (almas) | 13 comments done...few hours ago

if her journal was burned, how did we get this story?


Rachel Murphy (facelikefizz) | 90 comments Mod
A. wrote: "done...few hours ago

if her journal was burned, how did we get this story?"


Ha - good point!


message 44: by Zoe (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zoe | 355 comments Mod
Yes, I noticed that last part too. Big whoops, and I think there were more continuance issues that I picked up on in some part of my brain, but was enjoying the story too much to harp on.

Regardless of its flaws, I DID really enjoyit. I liked the format and the fact that she really had to pretty much start over every morning. It meant only so much was going to get revealed in one day, so really, in order to find out more, you had to keep reading. Yes, it was weird...the ick factor was pretty outstanding for me (eeeeewwww, she had sex with the nutty jerk) but it kept me reading, and I had packed some other books on my trip that I knew were good, but finished this one first.


message 45: by Bee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bee (bee69) | 4 comments I recently finished reading this book. It was not a book I would have selected by looking at the cover but as a friend recommended it to me I gave it a go. I soon got into the book and found it interesting and emotional in places. It was a good book and I thank my friend for the recommendation and I would also recommend others to read it too.


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