It's About: A woman named Christine who is experiencing episodic amnesia. This means that all of her memories of the past are gone - both long-term and short-term memory. Every night when she goes into deep sleep, her memories of everything are erased. She awakes each morning not sure of who she is, who the man is sleeping next to her nor what she has done with her life. Ben, her husband, gently explains to her who she is every morning. As the day progresses, she can build off the information she has been told until she falls asleep again. Other than this, physically she is a normal, healthy woman and mentally, before she sleeps, is able to process her thoughts in a normal, healthy way. At the insistence of a doctor, she begins to write a journal of what people tell her of her past. Her doctor telephones her each morning to remind her where she has hidden her journal. She reads it and begins to start remembering small pieces of past events. She's hidden her journal because she is seeing this doctor and writing this journal without the consent or knowledge of her husband. A husband - she discovers - that is telling her lies.
I Thought: The author has done an excellent job of being duplicitous and creates paranoia with perfect intention. In order to accomplish this, the book, at times, moves breathtakingly slow. In the beginning, I was worried about a pacing problem again. I have run in to a few books, lately, that seem to wrongly pace. Not, this book though. The book begins on November 9 and goes through November 23. In this time, we live in Christine's skin. We learn how turtle slow it must be to wake up and have to re-orient ourselves to our entire past before we can move forward even an inch. Sometimes the author creates this by being repetitive. I almost gave the book up but persevered until around page 200. I am so glad I did. Christine makes some exciting discoveries around this page and the book picks up with lightening speed. The book becomes one of those effortless page turners in the end. In my opinion, it does tie up all too neatly. I can forgive that though as it is a book and not real life.
A Wonderful Passage: This morning, I went into the kitchen. My life, I thought, is built on quicksand. It shifts from one day to the next. Things I think I know are wrong, things I am certain of, facts about my life, myself, belong to years ago. All the history I have reads like fiction. Dr. Nash, Ben, Adam and now Claire. They exist, but as shadows in the dark. As strangers, they crisscross my life, connecting, disconnecting. Elusive, ethereal. Like ghosts.
And not just them. Everything. It is all invented. Conjured from nothing. I am desperate for solid ground, for something real, something that will not vanish as I sleep. I need to anchor myself.
Recommendation: It takes the patience of a Saint in parts but the ending is worth it.