Before I Go to Sleep bu S.J. Watson

Imagine going to sleep every night and having your memories erased. Imagine waking up and not knowing who you are, not being able to recognize those you love, not being able to remember your past. This is Christine Lucas' life. Everyday she awakens in a house she cannot remember, next to a man to says he is her husband, Ben. He explains that she was involved in a car accident, which destroyed her memory.

One morning she receives a phone call from a Dr. Nash and Christine learns that she was been secretly meeting with Dr. Nash in an attempt to fix her memory. He tells her to look in the closet for the journal she writes in every day before going to sleep. As Christine reads this journal it becomes clear that Ben is not telling her the whole story. The journal becomes Christine's lifeline as she tries to figure out who she is and what is the real cause of her memory loss.

I really enjoyed this book. It asked a lot of interesting questions about memories, one of my favorite being: "What are we, if not the accumulation of our memories?" It was an interesting concept to think about - what if you really couldn't remember anything? How would you define yourself? What would tether you to your life? So much of our identities are wrapped up in our memories and our connections to those around us and to those we love. I think that is why amnesia and Alzheimer's disease are such devastating diseases. The author does an excellent job with the characters, especially Christine, and as the reader I found myself complete engrossed in the roller coaster that is her life as she tries to figure everything out. I felt incredibly sorry for her husband Ben, who appears at first to be the most understanding and loyal of husbands. As the story unfolded I thought I had it figured out until another event or memory would be introduced and I often found myself just as confused as Christine. It's a good read.

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