What Alice Forgot – Review
Currently on Loan from the Library:
The 9th Girl by: Tami Hoag
Other Books I’m Reading:
World War Z by: Max Books
Anathem by: Neal Stephenson (It may be Neil is permanently stuck on this list.)
What Alice Forgot by: Liane Moriarty is a book picked for my monthly book club by one of the other members. That being the case, it’s not really a book I would have picked out myself. Still, it’s one that I”m glad I got to read.
The book starts with Alice waking up on the floor of her gym, during an interrupted spin class. Alice interrupted the class by plummeting off her bike, whacking her head and passing out for ten minutes. In her fall, Alice seems to have forgotten ten years of her life. She believes she’s 29, pregnant with her first child, and happily married. In fact, she is 39, a mother of three, and in the middle of divorcing her husband.
All of this could be played for comedy as Alice pieces together the last ten years of her life, but it’s not. There are funny moments. Her children realizing that Mom is not entirely home and they should take advantage of the situation is fun. Also, watching her try and piece together the gossip at school is charming, until it’s just heartbreaking. In the final analysis this is a literate and literary work. Not a comedy at all. In fact the first two chapters were so sad, I almost put the book down. But I’m glad a read on.
By the time Alice’s memories come flooding back, she already has the facts all worked out. I won’t say what there are. Spoilers. I will say that I find the ending completely believable. Which I was pleasantly surprised about. It would be easy for an author to write an ending to this book where all the memories come flooding back, but they make everything okay, or everything is okay in spite of them. Liane Moriarty didn’t do that. Instead Alice is essentially forced by her mind to take one of the best pieces of advice a marriage counselor, or a mother ever gave. If you start acting loving, even if you don’t feel it, things change in a relationship.
There is a special warning on this book. Alice’s sister Elizabeth is having infertility problems. It is a large, and extremely sad piece of the book. If this is something that it bothers you to read about, this book is probably not for you. The portions are large enough and important enough to the plot, that not reading it with the rest of the book is really not an option.
I think I’ve used “heartbreaking” and “sad” enough in this review to put a person off the book. The book is not sad in total. I found it to be a very enjoyable read. But it’s a read with some bite. Which really, doesn’t it make it that much better?
Thank you Book Club Annie for your great pick!
Enjoyability: Five stars, and two boxes of tissue
Where to read this book: Curled up in the air conditioning. What a scorcher we’ve had this week.
Further reading: I am waiting for the library to come up with about five or six books I’ve put on hold. Until then, I’m finishing The 9th Girl and working on the ever present Anathem.