I've been eye-balling this book for some time now. This whole mystery-slash-memory loss sub-genre has really taken over lately, and of course in my mind everything leads back to a favorite movie of mine "Memento". (If you've not seen it, you must. It is a serious brain-twister. Don't drink while you watch it by the way, or you will be very cornfused.)
So then my friend Marianne recommended reading this for our January Books, Babes and Bordeaux book club. She said is was wild and woolly and easy to read. Which is a good thing if you are attempting to survive the holidays.
Synopsis: Christine wakes every day to a strange bed, a strange man lying beside her, and a strange woman in the mirror. Her husband explains that she suffered traumatic head injuries in an accident that causes all of her short-term memory to be erased every time she goes to sleep. Does she have friends? Does she have children? Does she have a job?
Christine receives a call from a doctor that appears to be working with her to regain some of her memory. He has encouraged her to keep a diary, so as she learns things about herself, she can write them down and use it to recall important details. She begins to suspect something is wrong when she finds a note in her diary that says she should not trust her husband. Christine must figure out whether she is delusional, or whether there is a reason to be scared for her life.
My thoughts: I guess when Lionel Shriver and Dennis Lehane blurb a book, and it is compared to "Memento", you expect it to be a book destined to be on your best of lists. Unfortunately, while this book was entertaining, it was disappointing.
The premise is creepy. Every day you wake up remembering nothing? Slowly, Christine starts to attempt to piece together her life and keep track of it in her journal. Things don't add up. There are twists, some expected, some not. A couple of times, the rug was pulled out from under me. There were some other twists that I saw coming a mile away. Overall, though, it was a real mind-bender.
From an author's perspective, this was a writing minefield. There were literally thousands of facts that could trip you up. All I wanted to do, subconsciously, is poke holes in it. It was really hard for me to relax and enjoy the ride.
After awhile, I did get weary. Losing her memory every night, waking up and discovering things written in the diary. Does she love her husband? Does she trust him? It began to get repetitive in the middle of the book, before things ramped up at the end. The ending also felt very tidy, where everything is 'splained, like a Scooby Doo mystery. Jenners and I discussed this via e-mail, and she actually offered an alternate ending that would have knocked me right down on my hiney. That Jenners is clever, she is.
Bottom line? A good entertaining mystery, but not a great one.
A few words about the audio production: Our narrator for this book was Orlagh Cassidy, who is a new voice for me. She has a beautiful, lilting British accent and was pleasant to listen to. She expressed genuine emotion and was a very believable victim.
3 out of 5 stars