Friday, October 23, 2009

Book Review: Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Alice is not quite 50 years old when she starts forgetting things here and there. She figures it may be related to menopause, until she gets lost in her own neighborhood one day. Frightened, she goes to the doctor thinking it could still be menopause or a brain tumor, only to end up with a diagnosis of Early Onset Alzheimers.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova delves into her life over the next year. Telling her family and watching them react in many different ways. Facing the end of her prestigious career as a Harvard University professor. Dealing with the everyday struggles one encounters when memory is diminishing rapidly. Losing her independence. Forgetting everyone and everything she loves.

I was fascinated by this book. My own grandmother had Alzheimer's (not Early Onset) and I have to say I wish I had been able to read this book back then. I think it would have provided me with a clearer understanding of what she was going through, and helped me support her more effectively. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a loved one with this disease.

We discussed this book in my book club, and some of the women mentioned that it was a bit scary to read it as they sometimes forget things themselves. But we all felt it was a worthwhile read, and very realistic. The author, Lisa Genova, is a neuroscientist who uses her years of experience in this field to really get into the mind of an Alzheimer's patient. The story is told from Alice's perspective and is so realistic it's almost eerie. Although heartbreaking and real, the book is also quite engaging and a very quick read.

My Rating: 5/5

Reading group guide and discussion questions for Still Alice

This review was written based on a copy of Still Alice that I borrowed from my local library.


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