Every day that Christine Lucas awakens, her mind is blank. Any memories or thoughts from the day before, or any previous days, are wiped clean. Erased. This has been her life for more than twenty years, and the man who wakes up with her is called Ben. He says he is her husband.
Before I Go To Sleep: A Novel is a nightmare. A story that can make the reader increasingly paranoid, as each day seems to bring snippets of a truth, but is it really the truth, or lies masquerading as truth? Why is Ben lying to Christine? Is Dr. Nash, who comes to collect her and calls each day to tell her where to find the journal she is keeping, also lying? Is anything real? Or is she imagining even the things she believes she knows? Are the journal entries even true? Or did she fictionalize everything?
We don’t learn what really happened to Christine until much later, and then many of the pieces are missing. Just when we think we have it all figured out, a massive surprise blindsides us. Even when I suspected more was amiss, I wasn’t sure until almost the end. A horror tale of a life gone wrong, with little hope of anything going right again.
Suspenseful, frightening, and ultimately, a relief…once we begin to understand. Some aspects of the story seemed too pat, in the end, falling together too neatly. But by then, I was just happy for the nightmare to end. 4.0 stars.