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Before I go to Sleep

Being a full month behind on my book club reading, I only completed last month’s book selection today, just in time for this month’s meeting on Thursday. Before I go to Sleep by S. J. Watson is a modern-day physiological thriller about a woman suffering from amnesia who wakes up every morning not knowing who she is. The novel chronicles the woman’s attempts to reconstruct her history through the use of journal entries to capture her daily routines and the truths that she learns each day, which she promptly forgets each night as she sleeps. The book was well received by my book club, everyone agreeing that it was a veritable page turner. One or two members had issues with the first half of the book as did I. My critique is that I felt that the journal entries which formed the basis of the story read like a well crafted piece of literature, which it was but I thought that the book might have had more punch and credibility if the journal entries had been written as one would expect journal entries to be, with short punchy lines, brevity in the writing. Even though the protagonist was a writer pre-trauma, it still does not hold true that journal entires which had to be furtively entered and in many cases rushed would have read like beautifully crafted, detailed accounts of events. While PJ does a wonderful job especially in the second half of the book in creating suspense, I think a different writing technique could have help create even more. Well done first novel from a wannabe author like myself. I am sure that even now, he is discussing film rights! An 8 out of 10 for me and a recommended read!

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