Christine lives an isolated life, heavily dependent on her husband Ben who is very selective about discussing her past. She forms a bond with a psychologist in secret, hoping to regain some of her memory, and part of the therapy consists of keeping a secret journal in which she tries to reconstruct her past. She reviews her journal every morning after he leaves for work. “Don’t trust Ben” is one of her messages to herself. Is Ben trying to save her from pain, or is there another motive at work? Or is it the psychologist himself who is the problem? Adding to the complexity is re-discovering her relationship with a woman who was her best friend- and the fact that she once had a son- is he still alive?
Watson is able to unfold the details of Christine’s past in a tense way. While her medical problem is frustrating and extreme, the author is able to keep the narrative endurable by granting her occasional glimpses of her strongest memories- so her case does have traces of hope. When a final plot twist kicks the suspense into high gear, we are firmly on her side! Despite the British setting, this novel would be hard to put down for most American readers, with the clever combination of memory science and who-can-I-trust suspense.