Celine’s adventures: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson

Celine is a French blogger who writes some fictional reviews about the books she loves the most and they always make me laugh. I hope the humor even if translated is kept. Thanks for her reviews.

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Synopsis: As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I’m still a child, thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me…

Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love–all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.

Welcome to Christine’s life.

Disclaimer: « The characters and situations in this story are fictional, any resemblance to existing persons and situations can only be coincidental »

For mémo: Episode 1 ; Episode 2 ; Episode 3 ; Episode 4 ; Episode 5 ; Episode 6 ; Episode 7 ; Episode 8 ; Episode 9 ; Episode 10 ; Episode 11 ; Episode 12 ; Episode 13 ; Episode 14 ; Episode 15 ; Episode 16

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Paris,Salon du Livre

My foot has just abut against a tile plate poorly sealed to the ground. I stop immediately. The walls are shaking, the ceiling is shaking, and everything is trembling around me. Some shouts are starting to fuser, but my body is frozen. I push the slab with my foot. It does not move more than a millimeter. It’s strange, everything is moving around me, except that.

Melliane joins me and takes me by the arm. I remain focused on the slab.

« Come on, move, Livre-vie … An earthquake!  »

She pulls me slightly but I resist. Something makes me think that this is not a normal earthquake, that appearances are deceiving.

Never trust appearances. My instinct screams to me that this is not what we think it is.

A woman’s voice that wants to be reassuring is heard in the speakers of the hall.

« Ladies and gentlemen, we ask you to direct in peace towards the emergency exits. It is only an earthquake, the building was designed to withstand natural disasters. No panic, please.  »

Natural disasters in Paris? But we are not in Beijing! We don’t have earthquakes in Paris!

Le Chat and Johanne join us, and Johanne gives me a blow on the head with the flat of the hand.

« Well, you have to move!

– They have not opened the doors of emergency exits, it’s weird … Le Chat observes.

I still push with my foot the famous slab. It still does not move. I notice out of the corner of my eye, Melliane which clings to a nearby table to keep her balance. Her hair has broken free of her ponytail and fall haphazardly on her face. Le Chat has her feet firmly planted on the ground, and slightly spreads her arms not to falter.

I keep telling me that we should never trust appearances, it is a lesson that I have drawn from Before I go to sleep y SJ Watson. I’m still reeling from this psychological thriller in which reality is not that what one believes.

I push the slab a little harder.

« She is making a brain attack or what? » Le Chat worries.

I see Johanne’s fingers passing in front of my eyes.

« Oh, oh … »

It gets me out of my trance, and I look up. A little further, I see a woman running, pressing hard against her a bag with a little book decorated with a padlock. A diary, like Christine’s. This is the Nash doctor who advised her to record everything in it. His morning call reminds her of her existence and the place where the anchor of her memory is. Tirelessly, every morning, she turns the pages of her ndiary, until she falls upon this phrase « Do not trust Ben. » Ben, her so loving, so caring, so patient husband. Ben, who is the pillar of her life.

A man joins the woman striding to the diary and hugs her with force. She indulges briefly against his chest, and they resume their run to the exit.

Memory, this fragile little thing so thin thread that connects us to what we like, that connects us to reality.

« Now what? Le Chat wonders.

I cast a glance around us. The issues are still blocked. All this is certainly very strange.

« There’s something wrong … I finally say.

– Oh but she can speak!  » Melliane teases me.

I do not take in account her words, it’s not the moment. The slab attracts my gaze.

« There’s something wrong, I repeat.

– But she has lost her head, Le Chat says. She drools.

– This is an overdose of Nutella Johanne adds. It has this kind of effects.

– Shh …  »

I raise my hand to silence them, I concentrate. See beyond appearances. There really is something wrong.

« The slab, I whispers.

– What, the slab? Johanne requests.

– There’s something wrong with the slab.

– You really need to stop Nutella. She has hallucinations,  » Le Chat whispers.

The lobby welcomes us, shaking everywhere, but we squat all three together.

« It’s a slab, it is a little shaken, that’s all … » Melliane says.

Shaken … This word is a distant echo in me, a blurred silhouette of a « something » that would be the key but which refuses to come out. Shaken …

« I can not remember … » The ground’s shaker « … Does it mean nothing to you?  »

They all three shake their heads. Memory, memory … Why do I not keep a diary like Christine in which I would note the highlights, or things that seem important to me. It would be very useful, right now, right now, as it was essential to Christine in her quest to her identity. SJ Watson delivers a black, dark and energetic novel, a sort of puzzle in which the pieces fit day after day, to go beyond mere appearances, a perfect machinery where everything is a baffling logic.

« The ground’s shaker… »

I make an extra effort to remember.

A glow, first tenuous, p

« Poseidon! The ground’s shaker! It’s him!

– Did the slab fall on her head or what? Le Chat whispers.

– I promise, I’ll stop Nutella, Johanne adds.

– Poseidon, the shaker of the ground, the god who comes out of the ground or water from a crack …

– And? Melliane inquires. It is a myth!

– But myths have always a grain of truth! « -I Replies.

The room shakes harder, cries resound around us. The gates are still closed. The tile plate suddenly seems to come to life. It’s tiny, barely shuddering as pronounced a heart beat.

« Stand back!  »

In less than a second, we go back several meters, and wait, motionless, as the crowd continues to run and lobby waving around us.

A first tenuous glow and then brighter, to end up being blinding, gushing from the contours of the slab. I knew there was something wrong.

 

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