Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Review: What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Title:What Alice Forgot
Author:Liane Moriarty
Publisher:Penguin Group
Imprint:Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
Pub. Date:06/02/2011
ISBN:0399157182 (ISBN13: 9780399157189)

What would happen if you were visited by your younger self, and got a chance for a do-over?

Alice Love is twenty-nine years old, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child. So imagine her surprise when, after a fall, she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! she HATES the gym!) and discovers that she's actually thirty-nine, has three children, and is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce.

A knock on the head has misplaced ten years of her life, and Alice isn't sure she likes who she's become. It turns out, though, that forgetting might be the most memorable thing that has ever happened to Alice.

(Summary and cover via Goodreads)


Ok, this is my first official "must read" of the summer. I loved this book so much! What Alice Forgot starts with Alice waking up at the gym. She passed out, and when she wakes up she does not remember the
last 10 years of her life. She discovers that rather than being extremely happy and pregnant with her first child, she instead has 3 children and is going through a rather nasty divorce. As she tries to get her memory back, Alice also tries to piece together what has happened to her life. Where did it all go wrong?

One thing I found so fascinating was this concept of how our past selves would view our current lives. I wonder how me 10 years ago would view my life now. It's certainly different than I thought it would be, but I'd like to think that I'd be pleased with it. Alice was not. Everything was so different than how she thought it would be. She had become a completely different person, and her younger self wasn't so sure she liked the current Alice. It also became apparent that all those things that seem so deadly important as we go through our everyday lives aren't always so massive when viewed with a different perspective.

There were two other plot parts that were fascinating. One dealt with Alice's honorary grandmother Frannie. She was still dealing with things that happened in her past, and through a series of letters we see her thoughts and ideas. Frannie was fantastic! The other plot point involved Alice's sister Elisabeth, who was dealing with unexplained infertility. That part was heartbreaking at times. I think it was very realistic though. All the other characters were interesting too. Sure, they had their flaws, but in the end they were mostly good people just living normal lives.

I found myself really thinking about how much we gradually change over time. Thinking about if my decisions now will still make for a happy life in 10 years. I know it's impossible to really know, but I did find myself reviewing how I treat my family to ensure that they would still be happy in 10 years. This book is probably an example of "chick lit" at it's finest. It's fun and light-hearted, but it does make you think about things. Or maybe that's just me. Some people may think the ending was wrapped up too prettily, but I think it was absolutely perfect. If you're looking for a fun read with a bit of substance, then What Alice Forgot is a great choice.

Book won in Goodreads Firstreads contest

1 comment:

Sarah said...

This sounds very interesting. Most of the time we look back at decisions we make, not look forward to see will happen because of them. I will definitely be adding this to my TBR list.