Imagine waking up every morning and not knowing who or where you are. All you really remember is, you’re in your 20’s, with your whole life ahead of you. But when you look in the mirror, the 20-something you thought you were isn’t staring back.
You see pictures around the mirror of the person staring back at you, smiling next to a man you do not recognize, in places you have never seen before. The man in the pictures is in the other room and explains he is your husband, you have been married for 22 years. You had an accident, and your memory is erased every time you go to sleep.
This is the reality for Christine Lucas, in “Before I Go to Sleep” by S.J. Watson.
A few years ago, I was wandering the isles of Barnes and Noble, not looking for anything in particular. I came across the clearance section and picked up a random book that was strewn about. It looked interesting, and it was on sale, so I bought it. Fast forward three years and I still hadn’t read more than 20 pages of the book and it was quietly sitting with the rest of the half read books on my bookshelf.
I was looking for something to watch on Netflix one day, and I was looking through my favorite category, the thriller section. A movie came up called, “Before I Go to Sleep”. I thought it was a weird coincidence until I read the description. It was the movie made from the book I had randomly bought three years before! So naturally, I watched the movie. And it was so intriguingly good. I had to read the book as soon as possible. I like watching movies made from books, it’s exciting seeing books come to life.
“Before I Go to Sleep” was no exception, except this was the first time I had watched a movie before reading the book, which in the end turned out to be a better choice.
I noticed one thing right away, the movie and the book both follow the main details of the story, although they are structured differently. They both mention Christine and her amnesia, her husband and the doctor she is seeing. But, the book focuses a lot on Christine remembering her past while the movie focuses more on the present.
Some minor details are changed, such as people’s ages, which affects some of the events and relationships. The details seem to change for cinematic effect. The only peculiar change I noticed was the ending. The ending was more dramatic in the book, which doesn’t make sense since I feel it would have been very easy to visually duplicate, and thus make the ending to the movie even better than it already is.
Usually I suggest reading a book and then watching the movie but this time, I suggest watching the movie and then reading the book. The book has much more detail (as books usually do compared to the movies), but with “Before I Go to Sleep”, the movie is definitely lacking some of the details in the book that could have easily been added in. I highly suggest reading the book and/or watching the movie. You won’t be disappointed. They both keep you guessing what is going to happen next and it has such a great twist you won’t see coming.