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I love to read just about anything, as long as it's fiction. I read for me - that means I read what I want, when I want. My reviews tend to mostly be based on how I'm able to personally connect with the story/characters. They are not intended to influence someone to read, or not read, a particular book. I always encourage people to take a chance and make up your own mind.

 

Oh, and I love chocolate.

What Alice Forgot

What Alice Forgot - Liane Moriarty

I loved the idea behind this book. Waking up to suddenly forgetting 10 years of your life? 

 

There was much I liked about the book - I liked the characters and the direction of the plot. I liked the way the author pulled me along, trying to figure out what was a real memory and what was not. I liked the subtle things that weren't so subtle,

such as when Alice had a memory that she thought was of Nick but it turned out to be of her friend's husband. To me that was a way of proving that we often let our lives get way too tangled with the lives of those around us.

(show spoiler)

I liked how the children were reacting to the situation. I liked how Alice seemed so different during the time when she didn't have her memory than she was of the person she had become in those 10 years.

 

I struggled with the format of this book. I didn't really care for the parts that contained letters written by Alice's sister and grandmother. I understood how they connected, and I appreciated the back story they provided, but I wanted this story to be about Alice and her relationships. Maybe it was meant to show us that there are two sides to the story on why things turn sour, but if that's the case I would have rather heard Nick's side of the story. 

 

I also struggled with Elisabeth's story line. I'm an 'Infertile'. Having gone through several rounds of IVF and being successful only in the last round, I get it. Her story is actually told very well and I appreciate that - many people gloss over the difficulties and can't quite get the emotional side of it right. However I knew how her story would turn out, and I wish that I had been wrong.

Not because I didn't want her to have a baby. I did. But I didn't want it to come only after she had decided to 'give up'. For me that just feeds the misconception that if you stop trying too hard or wanting it so bad, then it will finally happen. I know she never really stopped worrying about the baby until she was born, but she had finally made a decision to move on and BAM - success.

(show spoiler)

 

For a moment I was worried about the ending. Not because I thought it wouldn't go where I thought it was, but because for a moment I felt as if Alice didn't learn anything from her bout with memory loss.

She saw things from such a mature light when her memory was gone, and it was painful for a moment when it seemed that she was just going to resort back to the old Alice. Sure there were comments of how she was 'lighter' with Madison and she stopped fighting her neighbor, but it still all seemed about her.

(show spoiler)

But then I got it. You might be able to forget 10 years of memory, but you are still the person those experiences turned you into. It's not easy to break away from that straight away.

 

Had the style of the book been more to my preference, this book would have been a 5 star book for me. I just didn't really like the format, and it took FOREVER until it seemed anything happened. I think it was almost 40% into the book before she even got out of the hospital (which was just an overnight stay). I get that the back story for this kind of novel had to be developed, but I would have rather it happened along with the story, rather than mostly before.