Phil: Last year we trooped off to the “How to get published…Or how we did it” session at the Stratford Literary Festival. One of the authors on stage was SJ Watson promoting his book “Before I Go To Sleep”.
I think it would be fair to say neither of us warmed to SJ, at least not as much as we did to the others on stage so we weren’t filled with the urge to queue up for a signed edition after the talk.
Despite this, when I saw a copy in a second-hand bookshop, I read the blurb on the back and decided that I’d give it a go. For £1.50 you can’t go very far wrong can you?
Please note: This post contains no spoilers. Candice is reading the book at the moment and will hit me if I give anything away.
The story concerns Christine and is told through her eyes. She suffers from a condition that causes her to lose her memory when she falls asleep. The book starts with her/us waking up and having to re-learn her past life through photos placed around the house by her husband. It’s a great way to introduce a character and the concept works really well.
This is a thriller so I can’t tell you very much more without spoiling the storyline. Suffice to say I didn’t spot the twist at the end until we got there, which is exactly what you want. The story rattles along too. Perhaps the first third is slower than the rest but this is as it should be – we are gradually learning about Christine’s life and the reader goes through many of the same processes she does.
Prepare to read this book in big gulps as you will want to progress quickly. A structure with varying length chapters helps as I certainly went through the “Just another chapter” stage late at night and found myself hungry for the next revelation.
So – I still don’t want to go for a beer with the author but I do like his book. Damn.