Still Alice

Still Alice

By: Lisa Genova

Published: 2007

# of pages: 292

Official description:

Genova's debut revolves around Alice Howland - Harvard professor, gifted researcher and lecturer, wife, and mother of three grown children. One day, Alice sets out for a run and soon realizes she has no idea how to find her way home. It's a route she has taken for years, but nothing looks familiar. She is utterly lost. Is her forgetfulness the result of menopausal symptoms? A ministroke? A neurological cancer? After a few doctors' appointments and medical tests, Alice has her diagnosis, and it's a shocker -- she has early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

What follows is the story of Alice's slow but inevitable loss of memory and connection with reality, told from her perspective. She gradually loses the ability to follow a conversational thread, the story line of a book, or to recall information she heard just moments before. To Genova's great credit, readers learn of the progression of Alice's disease through the reactions of others, as Alice does, so they feel what she feels -- a slowly building terror.

My opinion: I wish that I was in a book club and could discuss this book with other people! It was a great read, I couldn't put it down. At first I wasn't impressed with the writing, but soon I didn't notice any awkwardness, but that could have been because of an improvement on the author's part or because I was so wrapped up in the story I didn't notice.

I do have to say - if you are struggling with mental problems this may not be a book you want to read. On the other hand, maybe that will help you relate to the character of Alice more. All I know is that because I am struggling in the mental department these days, it scared me when I saw how similar many of my symptoms are to Alice's early Alzheimer's symptoms. But reading the book also made me so thankful that my issues are temporary (hopefully).

It was fascinating to read about Alzheimer's from the patient's point of view. And there were parts of the story that I continued to think about after I finished the book. I feel like one major part I didn't quite get while I was in the midst of the story, it wasn't until after that the full impact dawned on me. I'm actually about to go back and read that part again.

I highly recommend this book to all adults, unless you think it would be too depressing/intimidating to read while struggling with a mental illness. It has some bad language, but it's not tasteless. This book would be especially great for book clubs to read together.

Why I gave this book 5/5 stars: Although not especially well written, the characters and story were unique and really drew me in. I can't stop thinking about this novel!

Other reviews:

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.

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Kritter said...

I read this last month for a book club, it is the first time we talked about the book for a solid 2 hours. Such interesting debate came out of this simple yet moving book.

Cozy in Texas said...

Sorry, I haven't read this but it does sound like a good book club read.

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