This will be a short review, but not because it is a bad book, but because I cannot say too much. BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP is a mystery, but not a traditional mystery. It is a thriller that will literally have you at the edge of your seat. You might even be biting some fingernails.

This debut novel is a massive hit all over the world. There are over 30 translations of it and it is a best seller and a critical hit. The movie will be produced by Ridley Scott and will star Nicole Kidman. When you pick up this book, wear some gloves…as this book is really hot.

So what is it about? All I will say is that it is a modern day story about a London woman who wakes up each day not knowing who she is or where she is. She does not recognize anyone. She has had an injury that has given her amnesia. She has one day to be told about her life, and then by the next morning, she has forgotten everything.

This the kind of book you want to read when you don’t have that much to do, because you want the world to be placed on hold until you finish it. While reading the last 40 pages of the book, I had to assist (I used that word loosely) in a DIY project and it about drove me crazy. I just wanted to get back to the book and find out who was who, what was what and why?

By the way, if any of you are living in the Utrecht area in June 2013, this book, Before I Go To Sleep, will be discussed at Book Circle. The first English book discussion group sponsored by the Utrecht Library (Bibliotheek Utrecht) and led by moi.

THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS by M.L. Stedman is quite a different story. After the first world war has ended, Tom is going to be a keeper of a lighthouse on a small island off of Perth, Australia. This island only has a lighthouse and a small cottage and supplies are brought every three months. He marries Isobel and she miscarries three times. One day a row boat washes ashore with a dead man and a baby inside. Tom and Isobel bring the baby into their lives and they raise her as their own.

Everyone believes that the baby girl, Lucy, is their child until the lie is exposed. The book builds into a very explosive end and it really does make you wonder what you would do in a similar situation. The writing is clear and dramatic and Stedman gives a story that you will want to share with friends. This is a great choice for a group to discuss, by the way.

Bonus read: THE COVE by Ron Rash. This is fabulous novel that takes place in North Carolina close to the end of WWI. A brother and sister, Hank and Laurel, live in the cove which has long been considered to be cursed. Lauren has a visible birthmark and the townspeople believe she is a witch. Into their secluded life comes a man who does not speak and cannot read or write. He changes their lives completely.

Rash writes a clear and careful story that is filled with fear, hate and love. The characters are so realistic and beautifully created.  The ending is shocking and brilliant. THE COVE should be on someone’s top ten list.

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