Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson – A Review

Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson was not a book that I had on my to-read list. Even though it is now a film starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth, I had not heard of it before. I picked it up in my local library after noticing it on the “recently returned” trolley. I often pick books up from this trolley with the belief that if someone else felt it was worth reading, then why shouldn’t I read it too. Upon Googling, I found out that this book has had international success with sales in 42 countries. What’s not to read.

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In this psychological thriller, the protagonist is a female character named Christine Lucas, who wakes up each day to realise that she has no memory of her life due to an accident, or so she has been told. Determined to understand her past and who she is, Christine embarks on a secretive journey to recovery with her doctor. By keeping a journal of her memories, Christine begins to piece together the puzzle of her life and discovers that all is not what it seems.

The theme of oppression is evident throughout Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson. Each night when she goes to sleep, Christine surrenders her memories, wakening up the next morning with no control over who she is and relying on her husband to explain everything to her once again. However, Christine’s husband is a cause of her oppression too. He shares only a certain amount of information with her, some of which may not be entirely truthful. Other themes that appear in Before I Go To Sleep include familial relationship, deceit and loss of identity.


With careful consideration and craftmanship, SJ Watson tells a detailed story that keeps the reader engaged throughout. The character list in the novel is manageable which each character having their own unique personality and bringing great impact to the storyline.

This was the first book that I read by this author as part of my 2019 reading challenge to read 25 books in the year. In all honesty, I made the assumption that SJ was an abbreviation for Sarah-Jane. SJ Watson is, in fact, a man. My next read will be Second Life by SJ Watson. You can keep up-to-date with my β€œto-read” list and book reviews here.