What would you do if you woke up in unfamiliar surroundings due to sever memory loss? Waking up next to a complete stranger who is apparently your husband and found the old person staring back at you in the mirror is you? Then, upon glancing at your journal you’ve kept in hopes of remembering the memories you’ve lost (which was given to you by a doctor whom you’ve been apparently seeing), you see the following words that you’ve written in bold.
“DO NOT TRUST BEN”
Ben is your husband.
Now then, tell me, what would you do?
What a question! Well, I have been confined to my room for the past three hours, severely engrossed in this brilliant novel by S.J. Watson in hopes of finding out how the protagonist, Christine Lucas, deals with her unfortunate situation… I have the backache to prove it (due to sprawling out on my one seater couch intent on reading). The further and further I dived into Christine’s life, the more fervent I was to finish her story. Ben, oh Ben. What to say about Ben? She catches him lying about certain events in her life and about the people she knew and boy, do his lies stack up day by day. To think that she would have never caught on to them if she had not started recording her fleeting memories on paper and without her secret sessions with Dr. Nash… and yet her husband Ben is so ingrained in her mind (with constant reminders of pictures, letters, and his utter devotion to her) that she loves him over and over again. He’s been taking care of her so he can’t be bad, right? She’s conflicted and she doesn’t know who to trust. However, as events unfold and are brought to her attention through her treasured journal, Christine realizes who she can trust and who she can’t… but will it be too late?
Yes, needless to say, this book hooked me right from the beginning. I literally got chills while reading through the climax and I still get chills just thinking about the end. It was Christine’s vulnerability that really got to me. Without her memories, she was just a sitting duck, completely oblivious to the dangers that lurked around her. Her situation definitely made me ponder on the nature of memory and how memories define who we are; we depend on them so much that we never think of how different life would be if we could not retain them. It’s something we take for granted… well at least I do. I’m not going to lie, I definitely started to contemplate a scenario like her’s, but with me playing the lead instead and I did not like it one bit. To be at the mercy of others and their versions of your life is just to much to bare, especially with such scrupulous characters prowling about.