Book Review: What Alice Forgot

Book review #2…or maybe #1, I’ve written another one but am waiting to be able to take a photo of the book – I sense a distinct lack of photos in my recent posts (since, you know, I can’t take any at work – hello safeguarding). And no photo here…it’s a Kindle read.

 

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

(Moriarty…anyone else spot that?!)

I saw a review for this book hereΒ and was very much intrigued by the story. It’s 1998 and Alice is a 29-year old newlywed, enjoying marital bliss with husband Nick, both excited about the 12-week old ‘Sultana’ they’re expecting later in the year. Problem is, it’s actually 2008 and Alice is 39, a stay-at-home mum-of-three, currently going through a messy divorce with now ex-husband Nick. She has hit her head at step class and forgotten the last 10 years of her life. And boy has she changed in those 10 years!

I love a nice easy read every once in a while. You know, where the writing flows and is good quality, but not Thomas Hardy-style. I sensed this was one to hook me – why had she and Nick separated? What would happen now she still believed herself to be madly in love with him, when he seemingly hates her? And she didn’t know she had children – what would it be like becoming a mother to 3 children suddenly? The fact that we share a first name had nothing to do with it, obvs.

However, a book all about Alice would potentially be a bit dull…as in all from her point of view. We’d be totally in the dark about everything, only seeing her reactions to situations. This pitfall is avoided as Moriarty includes sections from two other characters’ points of view: Frannie (Alice’s surrogate grandma) and Elisabeth (A’s sister). Frannie’s entries are from her blog and Elisabeth’s is her journal to her therapist. I loved these chapters – it created suspense as they both mentioned things that we didn’t know anything about relating to Alice, but also things about their own lives that added depth to them as characters.

I must admit, it was a bit of a skim read on my part, so really I should go back and read it again, which I’d happily do. There was nothing I drastically didn’t like about the book, although it would’ve been nice to see more from Nick’s point of view – how had he changed, really? We only glimpse Alice’s perception of it. The ending was…somewhat unexpected and some might argue unrealistic but I liked it.

It gets you thinkingΒ though…looking at how Nick and Alice have both changed as has their marriage makes me wonder about how me and my hubby will fare 10 years down the line. We’ve had it pretty easy with no real life shockers to hit us, and it’s so easy just to bob along without really making an effort to love the other actively. More generally, what would happen if I lost even 5 years of my memory? That’d be nearly my whole relationship gone, even some of my best friends would be strangers to me! Weird.

So, a fab book – easy to read and enjoyable. Plus only Β£3.32 on the Kindle – winner!

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