Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Before I Go To Sleep

Before I Go To Sleep
By S. J. Watson
Harper Collins Publishing

I had this book sitting on my pile since the novel came out. I didn't know what to expect. I heard it was coming out as a movie for quite some time. But, I didn't watch the trailer. So, I just went for the ride.  Before I Sleep, takes place in Birmingham, England. The story open with Christine waking up to a strange man in her bed. Going to the bathroom and in horror, thinking she is a younger woman.  Which is not true, she is almost 50.  She has amnesia and can't recall anything each morning. When she wakes up, she has to go through the same stressful routine, who is the man lying next to her each morning? . She doesn't remember a thing, day to day.  She has to write in a journal to recall what happened the day before. Kind of reminds me of what happened in the movie, if you recall Groundhog's Day.  The character keeps reliving the day over and over again.
 When she flips through the pages in the beginning of the book,
                             she wrote," Don't Trust Ben"
As she goes through her day, she doesn't recall anything. She has to trust others to tell her, her past. She constantly has to ask Ben, over and over each day questions about her past. She has to constantly write in her journal to remember her past. What happens if she can't remember what she has done to her journal. Where is it, her Doctor has to remind her where she put it.

 I don't know if I can live with that, day in and day out. To repeat it again, and again. It can be repetitive and I would imagine frustrating to a point of madness to her caretaker.

In the meantime she is secretly seeing a psychologist to help her shift through her life. She has to trust him, as there are only a few people she can trust beside Dr. Nash.  She learns what has happened in her life.  She believes wholeheartedly what each person tells her. She has nothing to tell her otherwise.  As the story unfold 1) she learns she was attacked
2) She has a husband Ben
3) There was a fire
4) Adam was killed in Afghanistan
5) Her friend Claire, is in New Zealand

*************WARNING SPOILER ALERT*************

But all these things are battling with her memories.  She keeps having flashbacks that don't make sense. She relives, not a car accident, but an assault with a man in a hotel room.  Her friend, Claire is not living in New Zealand but close by. Why is her husband telling her all these lies? They don't seem to add up. Can you trust the man you love wholeheartedly, should you trust and question your own instincts? She meets up with her friend Claire. Claire asks her questions about Ben, to her the things that Christine knows, doesn't add up to her. What happens if she can't recall where she left her journal? Then she realizes the pages in the journal are missing? What happened with that part of her life?

She doesn't trust the psychologist. She asks Dr. Nash,  why did you tell me something that wasn't true?   He himself can only go, by what he knows to be true, by her or so called, Ben. Who we think is her husband? At the end of the book, Ben takes her to a hotel. Why has he taken her to a run down flea whole hotel? It is filthy? Why if he is a architect, why is he teaching at a school? Or someone disguising himself? What happened to her husband? What happened to her son? Was he really killed in Afghanistan?  These are the things that kept me turning the pages, and kept me intrigued to the wee hours of the morning. There is so much you will learn, twists and turns, edge of your seat. It took me by surprise.  But, the last part was getting a bit dragged out. It was getting a bit boring for me.  But, I still loved the story. The story got me hooked from the first page. This is a great summer/beach read.  Some people have read this book take it seriously.  I didn't, I just went with it. It reminded me of Gone Girl, not the hype, but the suspense.

Our book club was suppose to meet in July, but unfortunately we did not meet. All our members that read the book, expressed that they still want to discuss the book at the next meeting with our other book.  Everyone of us, loved it and can't wait to go see the movie, with Nicole Kidman.  I myself, don't think I want to go through that again.  After swallowing and engrossing myself in the book.

 It made me wonder, what women or men that were married, what did they think about their spouses after the very last page, LOL!!! What did they think? If they were in bed reading, did they inch away slowly and take a deep breath? Take a few minutes away from their spouses to take a deep breath and think? Do I know my husband? Makes ya wonder doesn't it?  The other thing I had to keep thinking, I don't know why. To remember the story takes place in England not the states. I don't know why, I don't think it would have mattered one way or another. It would have played well in the States as well as Britain.

For more background information, I will leave you with my favorite British book club, Richard and Judy.

The writing style was not a literary work, the book will connect with the ordinary reader.  To the likes of John Grisham and such main stream reads.

The only thing, I was trying to figure it out. I know I am going to spoil it for you. But, I was trying to figure out, did this only happen in a span of a couple of weeks? Or did this happen in the span of years?  I know I am being vague, but if I ask the real point question. I will ruin the suspense for everyone. If anyone has read the book, will understand what I am asking. I would love for someone that has read the book explain to me and leave your comment.

My overall rating:

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Monday, August 11, 2014

38th Ave. Diva Book Club: Art forger

I already did my review on the Art Forger. I am going to post our book club thoughts on the novel. Some members liked it, some didn't. One member told us she thought it was too detailed.

For me I enjoyed reading about the history of the Gardner Museum, the heist, the artist, the process of the artist, and the process of forgeries. I never thought, and most of us thought the same thing. We didn't realize the process. But, now that we thought about it. It makes sense. To make a forgery, you need to make the canvas and the paint look old.   Most of us thought about what is really hanging at the museums? Are they really the real masterpiece? Is it a forgery? Even the experts can be fooled.  Can we deceive? or is it real?

For the first time, I did something different for the book club. I never thought about doing this. Doing a powerpoint presentation. This won't work for every book club. But, if for instance the history, the art pieces, the museum. It was wonderful, I thought. It had videos, pix, etc.  He is a screen glimpse of my power point.
I can pat myself on the back. I thought it was pretty amazing. Never thought doing this, until I started doing powerpoint and it gave me the idea.  This is a great idea for book clubs, if anyone is good with computers. This will enhance your book club meeting. I wouldn't do it all the time. But, when there is alot of historical background information.  This is great. I am sorry I did not think of this sooner.

On a sad note, the art gallery that I mentioned before at a previous post is closing. I am so sad to hear about anything that is cultural in Myrtle Beach, is closing. I am a northerner, and  used to cultural events. But, down south, especially in the smaller towns, like Myrtle Beach. There are some event, but most are amateurs.

Oh well, I will have to make my own, like I alway do.

Keep reading, until next month stay tuned. We are reading a novel, by Charles Todd.  A mother and son pen their mysteries.

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