Reading guide for Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Before I Go To Sleep

A Novel

by S.J. Watson

Before I Go To Sleep
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2011, 368 pages
    Feb 2012, 368 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

Discussion Questions

  1. Christine doesn't feel a strong sense of love for her husband, but wonders if that is normal after so many years of marriage. Do you think it's inevitable that a marriage changes in this way?

  2. Christine says that she feels like an animal. Living from moment to moment, day to day, trying to make sense of the world. Do you think this is what it must be like to be in her situation? Do you think animals really have no sense of their past? Is the ability to remember years gone by all that separates human beings from animals?

  3. Christine doesn't feel she achieved all of her childhood ambitions. She feels disappointment in the life that she has made for herself. Is this common for a woman as she approaches fifty years of age? Do you think she is right to be disappointed, or were her childhood ambitions unrealistic?

  4. How important is memory to our sense of identity? What are the events in your life that have been important in shaping who you are? Can you imagine what it might be like if you couldn't remember them? How would you be different as a person?

  5. Christine can't remember Adam or Claire. She can't remember her wedding day or writing For the Morning Birds. Have these people and things changed her personality anyway, even though she can't remember them? Is not remembering something effectively the same as it not having happened?

  6. What are Dr. Nash's feelings towards Christine? Do you think he is behaving in a professional manner? He says he is writing up her case - are his motives for helping her entirely selfless? Is he being completely honest with her?

  7. Do you think that Christine's affair is out of character for her? Why do you think it happened? Why do you think she risks her marriage? Does she treat her husband well? And Mike? Was she being fair to him?

  8. Christine believes Ben doesn't tell her about Adam so that she doesn't get upset. Would he be right to do this? Or does she have a right to know about him no matter how painful that knowledge might be? Are there other examples of people keeping things from Christine 'for her own benefit'? Do you think this is ever the right thing to do?

  9. Towards the end of the book Nash calls round at Christine's house, but she can't remember asking him to, even though he says she did so earlier that morning. Do you think she did so, but then forgot? Or is Nash lying to cover up the fact he had come uninvited?

  10. Do you think Christine feels like a sexual person? Do you think she would be nervous about sex and about her own body? Do you think every sexual experience would feel like the first for her? Does her husband have a right to expect her to have sex with him, even if she feels she has never met him before?

  11. Did you like the ending? Did it represent closure for you? What about Christine? Do you think she will remember what happened to her when she wakes up?

Reading guide reproduced from S.J. Watson's website, with permission.

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Harper Perennial. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
  • Book Jacket
    by Tom Jackson
    Growing up in Mumbai in the '70s, I still remember herbs kept fresh in small glasses of water, ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Les Parisiennes
    by Anne Sebba

    How the women of Paris lived, loved, and died under Nazi occupation.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Cruel Beautiful World
    by Caroline Leavitt

    A fast moving page-turner about the naiveté of youth and the malignity of power.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Comet Seekers
    by Helen Sedgwick

    A magical, intoxicating debut novel, both intimate and epic.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.