Please use this topic to discuss the May 2012 book of the month, Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson
. Please wait until you finish the book to read this topic because this topic will contain spoilers
How do you like the book? Would you recommend the book to others? If I remember correctly, this is Watson's first published work. How do you like the writing?
I enjoyed reading this book very much. I think the story is very engaging and unique. I am no expert but I felt it made use of known science in the field more than is often found in fiction, which I appreciate. I also like the literary device of having the protagonist reading for most of the book what we are reading. It reminds me of Sophie's World
in that way -- another book on my favorites list -- except that in Before I Go To Sleep
she is actually reading about herself.
What do you think of the ending? Regarding everything that happened after she finished her original journal and started the trip with Mike, I found it to be a thrilling read. In fact, I stayed up way too late just so I could finish the book at that point. Obviously, the man we thought was Ben was made out to be sketchy throughout the book. For my own part, I suspected for a while that he would turn out to be the one who attacked her. Then of course I realized as I read that that was unrealistic when all the other people testified to how loving Ben was. Maybe the author meant for this to happen by giving extremely contradicting clues. I don't know why I didn't think to suspect that 'Ben' was the attacker but was not actually Ben. Sometimes twists can be too out of the blue and feel 'tacked on' or too ridiculous or cheesy to believe. I can't speak for anyone else, but I felt this twist was just right. It was just surprising and unexpected enough to be exciting while still fitting with the rest of the book and the suspicions to which you as a reader have.
However, in regards to the last couple pages, I enjoyed getting a reasonable explanation during the ambulance ride and hospital about what happened that she and us the readers didn't know. But a couple of things didn't jive with me about that. Firstly, I may have missed something, but I don't understand how the doctor and her best friend finding her helped that much. Did they say they rescued her at all? If so, I missed that. It seemed to me the fire was started, and then she passed out and then woke up rescued. I assumed the fire caused the fire-department to come and save her. Moving on, I don't know how I feel about the fact that it isn't made clear whether she got her memory back permanently or not. On the one hand, it is kind of a poetic ending and really puts on into the moment of her going to sleep
. Also, on the bright side, it eliminated the hole in terms of the potential lack of a medical explanation for how her entire memory would conveniently come permanently back right when the book ends. But I just want to be sure she has it back especially since the original story was destroyed in the fire. What do you all think about this?
I felt the length of the story fit the story well. I personally feel like the longer a book is the more I expect to feel I get out of it when I am done. This was a relatively short book, I think, but I feel like I got a lot out of it.
Anyway, what do you all think of the book? If you have any favorite quotes or passages