Skip to main content

Book Review: What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty


When Alice Love wakes up, she is fully convinced she is 29 years old, pregnant with her first child and happily married to the love of her life. But in reality, it's 10 years later. She has three children, whom she doesn't remember, and is in the process of getting a divorce. She can't believe it. She won't accept that their perfect marriage is no longer. She believes there is nothing that would have led her to become the woman she seems to be at 39 years old, and she is determined to get her husband back and return to the tranquility of 10 years ago.

In What Alice Forgot, Liane Moriarty makes everyone ~ characters and readers alike ~ reflect on what it would be like to see the present from the eyes of your 10-year-younger self. Being 39 years old myself, I found I was able to relate incredibly well to Alice's feelings as she comes to grip with where her life has gone. Friends have changed, perspectives on life have changed, priorities have changed. She and her husband have gone from the magical time of early marriage, first home and the dream of starting a family to resentments, parental obligations and career challenges.

It sounds a lot like real life. Actually, What Alice Forgot, despite the rather unbelievable premise of someone bumping her head and forgetting 10 years, is quite realistic. And Moriarty does an amazing job of presenting a realistic picture of what Alice is thinking throughout the entire ordeal, including the last few chapters, which I was a bit concerned about. I will say I was content with the ending. It seemed genuine. But I certainly don't want to give it away.

One aspect of the story that I did not expect was the other voices. Alice's sister, Elizabeth writes journal entries to her therapist that speak to the infertility struggles she's had over the past 10 years and many other aspects of her life and Alice's. She fills in a lot of the details as to why she and Alice, who were extremely close 10 years ago, are now so far apart. Their "grandmother," Frannie, also writes letters that offer a different perspective on life, changes and moving forward. I enjoyed both of their stories, and thought they worked well to offset Alice's story.

Overall, I really loved this novel, perhaps because I could relate so well to Alice. Ten years ago, my husband and I could lie in bed on Saturday mornings as long as we wanted. We were free to enjoy each others company and go to shows or dinner or whatever we felt like doing on a particular day. But today, we have kids. We have more responsibilities in our careers. We are busy and tired and life is not nearly as relaxing. But that's okay. One is not better than the other. They are just different lives, and I think this is what Alice has to learn as well. Growing up and having kids changes things ~ drastically. That's life.

I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys contemporary fiction and especially to anyone whose life has changed a great deal in the last decade. It's fascinating to think of how you would react to losing those 10 years of memories.

My Rating: 5/5

Read my review of Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

This review was written based on an ebook copy of What Alice Forgot that I borrowed from the library.

Comments

  1. I can't wait to read this, so fascinating. Everyone is loving it. Great review.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am impressed that you have libraries that lend ebooks! I like the sound of this Julie and it is on my wishlist.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I really want to read this one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I just wrote my review for this (scheduled to post tomorrow) and I have to agree with how spot-on Moriarty was at articulating how drastically life changes once you have kids. I totally related!

    Nice review. I found this twist on the traditional amnesia story very refreshing. I will be linking to your review. :)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Getting back to blogging

It seems that blogging has dropped to the bottom of my list for the past year, and was pretty low for the year or two prior to that. I love to read, and am continuing to do so, but as my regular readers know I haven't been around much. My last blog post was almost a year ago!!

There are many things that have taken me away from blogging. Work has been much more challenging and interesting these past few years, but that means I really don't want to get back on the computer when I get home at night - or on the weekends.

Family life has been more busy with kids having multiple activities in the evenings, leaving little time to just hang out and write about the books that I read.

I will admit to a bit of a Facebook addiction, which means way too much time spent scrolling through my newsfeed instead of doing something more productive. This is one of the things I'm working on and hoping that this will free up some time for getting back to the blog.

Overall, life is good. Work is …

Book Review: The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett

Peter Byerly is distraught over the loss of his wife nine months ago. He has retreated to their cottage in the English countryside, hoping to return to his love of collecting and restoring rare books. But when he opens a book about Shakespeare forgeries and finds a Victorian watercolor of a woman who looks just like his wife, Peter is soon on a search for the origin of the painting and the truth about Shakespeare's real identity.

The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession by Charlie Lovett is a wonderful journey for anyone who loves books. It follows Peter's search in 1995, which turns into a bit of a thriller at times. But Lovett also takes the reader back in time a bit so we can learn the story of his relationship with his wife and how he came to be a bookseller. He does a beautiful job of expressing Peter's feelings about the rare books he encounters, and his feelings are contagious.

And then he takes us back even further to the history of one particular volume, whos…

Book Review: The Secret Lake by Karen Inglis

When Stella and Tom move to a new home in London, they are sad to have left their friends behind. But soon they have a mystery to solve. Their neighbor's dog, Harry, keeps disappearing. Where is he going and why is he always wet when he comes home? As they investigate the area in the garden where Harry seems to come and go, they discover a hidden tunnel that takes them back to their garden ... almost 100 years ago.

The Secret Lake by Karen Inglis is a wonderful children's book that reminds me of the adventurous stories I read as a child. I saw other reviewers say something similar. I'm not sure what it is about the way the story is told, but it is reminiscent of children's books from many years ago, yet it will definitely appeal to the kids of today.

Stella and Tom have an adventure in the past that leads to new friends and discoveries. While it's a time travel story, it doesn't have a lot of fantasy elements (although there are some moles that act a bit unusua…