Nothing scarier than your own man/Before I go to sleep by SJ Watson

9:24:00 AM


Even if I haven't finished Before I go to sleep, I am sure this is a great thriller. And I came here to write about it, before I forget. No wait, that doesn't sound right. Or does it?
Don't you love  an untrustworthy narrator? A lot of the best crime novels of these past years rely on an acutely sketchy first person POV, Gone Girl, Girl on the train. Such a neat way of upping the suspense. (If you never read the classic A kiss before dying by Ira Levin do yourself  a favor).

In Before I go to sleep Christine is the narrator,  a 46 year old woman, who wakes up everyday, having no memories of her adult life.
Sometimes you scroll on Instagram, and all the pics blend into one Live in the now/Don't be defined by your past/don't fear the future brainwashing slideshow. For all the live in the moment gurus out there, read this book and come back to me. I am all for savoring the moment, but without context, or progression your life will be maddening. We need our past and future.
This is what Christine has to deal with: every day she wakes up next to man she doesn't recognize. Who tells her he is her husband Ben, and then goes to work. Leaving her alone, wondering well: How did I get here?

Lately Christine, without her husband knowing, is working with a new doctor, Dr. Nash He is helping her regain some of her memories. One tool he suggest is keeping a diary. That notebook becomes Christine's memory. Every single day, she has to be remembered to read it and write in it. Though it she starts to build her world back up.
This diary becomes a weapon. It reveals to her that her husband is keeping important facts of her life from her. Without it he would get away with it. She would simply forget, after a night sleep. Is he trying to protect her, or abusing her extremely vulnerable position? He could essentially tell her whatever he liked, knowing that she would believe him, because she has no way of checking. As I said, I am half way through and terrified Ben will take this diary away, and with it, all her memories, everything she constructed , and leave her with nothing, not even the notion that once she knew more.
Her writing triggers flashes and memories. Christine starts to wonder how her condition came to be. What happend to her? And especially, who caused this?
There are so many books and movies about women terrified of the man they live with. It can be such a cheesy genre. Cheesy good, as in a Ashley Judd movie, cheesy ok, Sleeping with the enemy. Or just cheesy awful as the book which I was reading before this one, B. A. Paris Behind closed doors.  Gone Girl, and Girl on the Train play with the genre. When it is well done it can be unnerving, terrifying. It speaks to our deep-seated fears of intimacy, never knowing another person completely, wondering if and why somebody deserves our trust. Scary as fuck.
R/Showerthoughts Isn't funny that from the female POV the husband is often the scary one, but movies and books often want to scare men with the other woman? What is the chicken and egg, in this situation?
R/showerthoughts number 2 Why does Emily Blunt seems so sober in the The girl on the train trailer?

Before I go to sleep is well written,well paced, intriguing, it's one of those stories that will toy with your empathy ( imagining to be Christine is claustrophobic and nauseating). They made a movie with Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth, haven't seen it, but I may, just to check how they handle this whole sick reverse Groundhog day.

If the ending disappoints I will update, but even if she can get one thing straight, I have the feeling I am in good hands with Christine.

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