Sunday, April 14, 2019

Book Review: What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Title: What Alice Forgot
Author: Liane Moriarty
Genre: Women's Fiction, Psychological
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2011
Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child. So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over—she’s getting divorced, she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over...

For some reason, I kept seeing What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty almost every book place I would look. At first, I wasn't interested, but it kept showing up. Eventually, I took it as a sign that maybe I should read What Alice Forgot. I'm glad I did because it was a great book!

The plot for What Alice Forgot is a complex and deep one. It's not just about Alice. It's also about her sister Elisabeth, whom we learn more through letters to her therapist, Jeremy. Elisabeth is trying to conceive. She keeps going through failed IVF treatments time and time again. We learn about her struggle and how she's handling that. We also learn about Frannie, Alice's surrogate grandmother, through letters with a man named Phil. At the center of the story is Alice. After falling off a stationary bike and bumping her head during spin class, Alice wakes up to find some can't remember anything that happened for the past 10 years. Alice believes she is still 29, and she finds it frustrating and a tad funny that she's really almost 40 years old. Alice can't believe who she's turned into at 39. She would hate herself! The book explains if Alice will be more loving and carefree like her 29 year old self or if she'll be that rushed, cynical woman she was at 39 when and if she gets her memories back. There were one or two plot twists although I wouldn't consider them major. All of my questions were answered, and Liane Moriarty did an excellent job of tying up any loose ends and writing a great epilogue explaining what happened to each character years later.

I loved the characters in What Alice Forgot! I felt they were all very fleshed out and felt like I was reading about real live people. It was interesting to see Alice at odds with herself when her old self was surprised by what her new self (before she hit her head and lost her memory for the past 10 years) was like. I, personally, liked Alice after she forgot her memory. She was more fun loving and carefree. New Alice was always rushed and snippy. I also liked Nick, Alice's soon to be ex-husband. Although he was rushed with work, I loved how he still would help out Alice. I really related to Alice's oldest daughter, Madison, the most. Madison had experienced so much in her short life, so she was acting out a lot of the time. I just wanted to hug her. Alice's youngest daughter, Olivia, was really cute and funny. I loved how she referred to everything as "darling." My heart really went out to Elisabeth. I just wanted Elisabeth to finally have a baby of her own after miscarrying so many times in the past. Frannie was such a fun character! I was moved by her love of Elisabeth and Alice, and I really appreciated her humor at times!

The pacing for What Alice Forgot was a bit hit and miss sometimes.  There were a lot of times, mostly during the first 60 percent or so in the book, that I thought about just giving up and finding something else to read. However, I would read a bit more, and the pacing would pick up again. Then it would go back to being slow. Once I got about 65 percent through the book, the pacing found its footing, and it was smooth sailing from there. My eyes devoured the rest of the pages, and I couldn't wait to find out if Alice would get her memory back or if she'd end up with Nick or Dominick. (I was Team Nick throughout the book.) I also wanted to know what would come of Elisabeth's IVF treatment. I really wanted her to have a baby of her own!

Trigger warnings for What Alice Forgot include miscarriages, failed fertility treatments, amnesia, divorce, death, drinking, some profanities, and a few mentions of sex but no details.

Overall, What Alice Forgot is a lovely read even though the pacing is a bit off for the first half or so in the book. Luckily, the pacing redeems itself, and with a great plot and fantastic characters, this book does make a good read. I would definitely recommend What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty to everyone aged 16+ who loves a feel good novel.

No comments:

Post a Comment