Tuesday, August 9, 2011

When God Was A Rabbit - Before I Go to Sleep

Quick thoughts on two books which complete a trio I've read in the last month that began with What Alice Forgot  and which all share, in one way or another, the theme of memory and memory loss . The following two have both been well recognised and reviewed so I'm not feeling guilty about a brief mention in the hope of clearing some of the review backlog.

When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman

This is a book about a brother and a sister.

A book about childhood and growing up, friendships and families, triumph and tragedy, and everything in between.

More than anything, its a book about love in all its forms.

Sarah Winman's writing style is simple but beautiful and she knows how to draw on the reader's emotions. Young Ellie's story of her childhood is filled with the humour of a child's perceptions while at the same time there is sadness as the adult reader sees the dark undercurrents in her life.  Eccentric characters abound which adds to the fun but also allows the author to touch on more serious subjects. It's a story that explores close relationships and the importance of those people in our lives who share our memories.

I loved it!

Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Headline,2011

Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson

 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. 

As a big fan of psychological thrillers I was initially disappointed with this much raved about book. I think most people will figure out early what's going on and once that happens much of the suspense is lost. I also found the constant repetition in the first part frustrating but in hindsight I wonder if that is intentional because it's exactly how Christine and Ben would themselves be feeling - it arouses a lot of sympathy for Ben.

It's only since I finished it and find myself thinking about it and putting myself in Christine's position that I can feel what a chilling and terrifying subject this is. To completely lose all memory and to be totally dependent on trusting someone else - scary stuff!!

 Easy reading writing style and a thought-provoking theme - I enjoyed it but I don't think it's as great as some other reviewers do.

Genre: Psychological suspense
Publisher: Text Publishing, 2011


  1. These are both books I've been wanting to read!

  2. We felt the same about Before..... Maybe we read this genre to often. I have Alice on wish list already will consider the other.

  3. I picked up when god was a rabbit a few weeks ago, normally I ate stupid titles like that (the elegance of the hedgehog etc) but its had such good reviews

  4. Cat, I've been reading other great reviews about them one like yours. I MUST add it to the ever growing list.

  5. I've not long finished "When God Was a Rabbit" as well and really enjoyed it. Beautiful writing and such a gentle story - not what I expected at all but I loved it none the less. Was really refreshing to read such a different story!!

  6. Steph - hope you'll enjoy them as much as I did.

    Marce - not too much but enough what makes a really good thriller.

    Jessica - I think you'll feel differently about the title after you've read it.

    Diane - you'll like it, I'm sure!

    BG - I agree, it's always good to find a book that's fresh and different. Particularly when the writing is so lovely.

  7. I had been looking forward to Before I go to Sleep, but then a lot of the bloggers I trust didn't like it much, and you also seem to share the same opinion, so I guess I'll give it a pass for now.