Book report:Before I Go to Sleep


We always want to get rid of our sadness and sorrow, and childishly believe that we can then live more happily. But what if you really forgot those things? Could you really live happily forever?


The story ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ begins with a woman called Christine, who had caught an uncommon mental disorder in which she will forget everything when she woke up every day. Her only relative—her husband Ben—would tell her things every morning. Meanwhile, Dr.Nash would phone Christine every mid-morning to remind her to write a journal whenever she remembered anything so that she could read it to strengthen her memory. Terribly, there were three words on the first page of the journal—“Don’t trust Ben”.


On the one hand, Christine knew that Ben was the only person she could cling to; on the other hand, she discovered that Ben was lying. Ben concealed they had a son called Adam, who was killed in a war, and concealed that it wasn’t a car accident that caused the loss of her memory. Chris was struggled to tell Ben about her journal. With the help of Dr.Nash, Christine realized that she had been crazy and living in a psychiatric ward for seven years. Only then did Chris understand Ben was protecting her from those grieves.


All the things came clear. When Chris determined to tell Ben that she could remember some past events, a call from Dr.Nash put a damper on her thought. Chris’best friend Claire contacted her and revealed that Ben and Chris were divorced. It obviously showed that Ben was telling another explosive lie. Chris panicked and was disappointed, but at the same time she summoned up courage to dig out the truth. Eventually, Ben made a clean breast of those “lies”.  Chris forgave Ben.

Everything seemed to have settled. However, another awesome truth was exposed—Ben was not Ben. The one now sleeping next to Chris was in fact Mike.


Christine had had an affair with Mike before she lost her memory. Mike fixated to Christine, but Chris felt guilty betraying Ben, so they separated. Mike virtually killed Christine in a crazy manner. Discovering that Christine had lost all her memory after the accident, Mike grabbed the chance to coerce Christine to be with him forever.


Mike was killed in a fire. In fact the information told by Mike was all fake. Adam was still alive and the real Ben still loved Christine. Though there was a worry that Christine might lose her memory the next day, Chris has achieved a breakthrough in memorizing things for more than one day—the people who loved her had all come back. The story ended in a bliss.


The story was touching but somehow depressing. The writer S.J.Watson described the things happened to Chris and her loneliness marvelously in-depth. The readers can really feel as if they were Christine, experiencing her loneliness and suspicion towards the people surrounding her.The readers can experience what it means to trust only themselves, and bear the grief by themselves. Moreover, they can even figure out the impending future that you will forget everything again. It just simply likes an existence but not a life, jumping from one moment to another. More than that, the lies made by Mike were shattering. As a reader, I can only gasp in disbelief. Why can Mike do that? He is controlling Christine, making a story for her and fixing her life into his own imagination. He is distorting Christine’s life. That’s appalling. Luckily, humans have feelings. Although Christine had lost her memory, her heart told her the truth—Mike was not the one she loved. Apart from the above, there are some sweet scenes in the story. While Mike was cheating her, Christine could still remember some joyful pictures. She remembered she had had a party with her best friend Claire, watching fireworks with Claire on the roof. She remembered the first time she met Ben. She remembered him asking her to marry him, and the wedding. She remembered her kneeling on the floor playing with her son. The ending of the story is also delightful. Christine could live with her husband and son forever.


After spending half of the day reading this book, I have some introspection, or I would say some thoughts about our lives.


Memory defines us. It is mentioned in the introduction of this novel. It’s absolutely correct. Without our memory, what would our life be? We will be just like a foetus, knowing nothing about ourselves. Memory is like a puzzle; it is made up of hundreds of thousands of past events of our fleeting life, including successes and setbacks. Many say they want to jettison their annoying past so that they will no longer live in misery. But, are they sure they will be happy? Take Christine as an example. She knew that the memory about Adam was painful as he was dead. But she was adamant to know it. Why? It was because she could remember that she had loved him so much. She treasured this love. How about you? While you are feeling upset about some failures, can you find something in that experience that is worth treasuring? It may be love, genuineness, hard-work, and so on, which can define your character too. I promise that once you overcome those frustrations, you will be happy. So don’t try to abandon them.


The second thing I have thought of is trust. This should be the main idea of this story. Looking back to the story, when she gradually relied on her husband, she found that he was lying. When she wanted to tell Dr.Nash what she was facing, she found that he was just telling half of the story. Then, who can you believe in when you find that the people whom you trust are telling lies to you? It is an annoying question. Whenever we choose to trust somebody, we should be prepared to bear the risk of being hurt.  The reason why we trust is that we need to build a relationship. If now he or she is not doing anything bad to us, we should believe in him/her. We can only know if something is real or fake in the future.  We do need to take risk, don’t we? Or else, there will be no relationship, no friendliness, or kindness. We will just live in suspicion. How awful it is!


Christine was hurt by a number of lies. But eventually she could find out the rights and wrongs, because she trusted her husband and Dr.Nash. She ultimately succeeded in finding out the truth.


Though this book is very thick as it tells a lot about Chris’s experience, it is not disorganized at all. It is a thriller novel, yet I can feel a pound of love. It is inevitable that someone will hurt us, but still there is still someone who loves us. Read this book, I guarantee you will like it.