Thursday, July 05, 2018

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Alice Love wakes up on the floor of her gym staring up at a bunch of strangers who seem to know her quite well.  Apparently she fell of the spin cycle and had a bump to the head.  But wait a minute, Alice hates the gym.  And that is not the only thing that is strange.  Very worried about the baby she is pregnant with, her and Nick's first child, Alice is baffled when the hospital insists she is not pregnant at all.  And not only that, she is not 29 but 39 and her three children are waiting to be picked up at school.  And her world just keeps getting stranger as it is apparent that she has totally lost 10 years of her life out of her memory.  Now as the hospital releases her she must go to that life she has no memory of and try to put the pieces together so that she and her family can function in some way.  But her family is broken and she is in the midst of a divorce and she has no idea why, she barely has a relationship with the rest of her family and apparently she is some super mom at her kid's school organizing a huge fundraiser that will get them in the Guinness Book of World Records.  And who on earth is this "Gina" that everyone doesn't want to talk about?  This all is an Alice that she does not recognize at all and now she must figure out either how to go back or how to go forward.

This was a very interesting premise that really made you think how you would react if you lost the last ten years of your life.  As Alice tries to function in her daily life, she has many surprises arise as to what her life and she as a person has become and she is shocked and not happy about a lot of it.  But she can't remember what led her there and nobody seems to want to fill her in.  A paragraph that I thought perfectly described Alice's dilemma was on page 98 and is a quote from Alice herself:

""How long have you been married for?"  Alice interrupted.  The terror of not knowing the facts of her own life gripped her again.  She was on one of those amusement park rides that slammed you left, then right, then turned the whole world upside down, giving you unfamiliar glimpses of familiar things.  Alice hated amusement park rides."

I could actually feel her uncertainty and fear.

The story examines looking at the blessings of your life and what might be important and what isn't.  It explores the workings of family relationships and what interferes with them.  The story is told from 3 voices:  Alice, her sister Elizabeth who has desperately been trying to have a baby and can't, and that of her beloved grandmother.   The story was thought provoking, funny in a lot of places and also sad in some.  For the most part I enjoyed the story and really wanted to find out what happened to Alice and if she would settle within herself who she had become if her memory didn't return.  The author gave enough vague references to Alice's former life that kept you turning the pages to find it all out along with Alice though a few sections of the book did drag on a bit.   

I rated this an 8/10


Barbara H. said...

That does sound like an interesting premise.

Vicki said...

I've had this on my list for a long time. Good to know you liked it.

Faith said...

I've only read two of this author's books and this wasn't one of them. I really liked Truly Madly Guilty. Maybe I will look for this one. Great review!