Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson

It took me a while to get into this book.  I read the first part almost in one go, but then didn’t pick it up again for quite a while.  The beginning didn’t grab me enough to make me continue immediately.  However I found myself with two whole hours (!) to myself and during that time I was gripped!

I thought this was a cracking story.  It’s all the more impressive as this is a debut novel.  I honestly couldn’t see for much of the story where this could all possibly be going.  It wasn’t until the end of the middle section, the journal, that I was starting to get a sense of the plot.  I thought it was very clever the way all the information read up until that point suddenly started to make coherent sense, where previously it was just somebody’s diary.  It was very well written in short sentences which is exactly how Christne Lucas was thinking (not having anything much before “today” to think about) and this helped to keep up the tension and kept me turning the pages.

I did think in places that the reader was expected to make some huge leaps of faith.  Some of the “realisations” that Christine Lucas suddenly experiences stretched credibility a bit, I felt, and seemed a bit too convenient for the plot, as if the author had run out of ideas (or time) for moving the plot along.  The ending reminded me a bit of “You Belong To Me”, where the cavalry suddenly puts two and two together at the 11th hour and rushes in to save the day.  I was a bit disappointed with that.

I wondered if the author was a man or woman.  The dust jacket didn’t give any clues.  I wasn’t sure for most of the book but then towards the end I thought it must have been written by a man.  I can’t recall the exact passage that made me think that but will try to identify it for another time.  I Googled it today: http://www.sjwatson-books.com/.

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