If you are planning to read this book, you will need an amazing capacity for suspending your disbelief. Not only is this story chock full of this-would-never-happen moments, there are at least two places where it contradicts itself within a few pages.
So. Christine has amnesia, and is incapable of creating new memories. Think Memento, but less compelling. Christine lives with her husband, who, of course, she does not remember from one day to another. Every morning she wakes up (naked, interestingly) next to a stranger, and runs in a panic to the bathroom. There she is confronted with signs and pictures explaining her reality. (You are old! And married! To Ben! We are happy!) We, along with Christine, soon learn that Ben is either lying to her or is just not up to recounting her whole sad history every single day. But Christine is keeping a journal, and each day she uncovers a little bit more about her situation, and about her past. She’s coming to some conclusions, and you can bet that at some point they’re going to get her into trouble.
One thing I did like about the story is that Christine feels differently about her discoveries from day-to-day. It reminded me how hard it is to determine other people’s motivations. It’s nearly impossible to try to know someone intimately after just a few hours in their company, first love notwithstanding. It’s also pretty natural to see things differently at different times – imagine having to judge and weigh the sum total of your life each day.
This book also made me think about the concept of living in the moment. You might think that a victim of amnesia would experience the bliss of being confined to the present. Quite the opposite. I do believe that Christine’s reaction to this uncommon situation is realistic; with no sense of her own history she is obsessed with both the unremembered past and the unimaginable but all too predictable future. Too bad; it seems like this particular disorder could use a gigantic silver lining.
I was compelled to finish this book, despite its lack of logic and pacing, because, after all, I really wanted to know the outcome. Not so much to find out what had happened to leave Christine in her unenviable condition, but to determine who had betrayed her, and whether she’d figure it out. And whether she’d remember any of it after the fact. I bought this book for my Nook, needing something light for a day of travel. I never spend money on books, aside from sometimes exorbitant library fines, so I’m a little mad about paying for something I didn’t love. But at least I remember it.