Monday, July 11, 2016

What Alice Forgot

What Alice Forgot
by Liane Moriarty

Genre: Women's Fiction

Synopsis:  Alice Love is twenty -nine years old, and her life is soft, slow, and sweet.  She's unfailingly optimistic, and keen on sleeping in and eating anything with chocolate in it, and above all, she adores her husband, Nick.  They're expecting their first baby, who at the moment is the size of a raisin (they call her the Sultana) and to whom Nick speaks nightly through an empty toilet paper roll held right up against Alice's belly, Alice and Nick plan to spend the rest of their lives working on the ramshackle house they just bough, with the goal of completing the list of projects (they all it The Impossible Dream) sometime shortly before they die.

So imagine Alice's surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! she HATES the gym!) and is whisked off to the hospital.  Her first concern is her baby, and she's desperate to see Nick, who she knows will be worried about her.  But Alice isn't pregnant.  And Nick isn't worried.

Turns out, Alice is, in fact, thirty-nine, has three children, and the honeymoon is well and truly over for her and Nick.  Her ramshackle home is instead picture-perfect from top to bottom, and it's clear that she inhabits a body that doesn't indulge in chocolate often (or ever).  The knock on the head has misplaced ten years of her life, and Alice isn't sure she likes life ten years later.  With a decade of memories gone for the time being, she has to piece together what has happened and who she has become.  In the end, it turns out that forgetting may be the most memorable thing that's ever happened to her.
from the book jacket

Review: When the book starts Alice has lost her memory of the last 10 years and thinks that she is twenty-nine and pregnant with her first child.  She learns that, in fact, ten years have gone by and things have drastically changed for her-she is divorcing Nick, has three children, and her perspective on so many things have changed.  Alice, who thinks she is ten years younger, has such a fresh outlook on the things that have not gone the way she expected them to and is willing to make amends with so many people.  She has a hard time believing how things changed (not the way she expected at all) and does not accept them as irreversible.

Alice is a quirky honest protagonist who makes you cheer for what could have been.  You can't help but be caught up in her enthusiasm to fix her wrongs.  You feel for Alice as she struggles to remember anything of the last ten years, most importantly her children.  You also get to know Alice's sister, Elizabeth and her struggles, through a series of letters that Elizabeth has written for her therapist.  There are also letters that Francie, Alice's honorary grandma, wrote.  In these letters, we learn about Alice from other people's point of views.  This book was a little slow at first but then picked up and made me keep reading so I could find out what happened to Alice.

Rating: 4 stars

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