Book Review: What Alice Forgot

There are moments of my past that I can’t remember. My brother and dad just told me this apparently hilarious story about the time my college car broke down at the Fiesta outlet — in the snow — and they had to come fix it. I have absolutely no recollection of the story, but man did they think it was funny. However, I remember a majority of the past ten years, which made me wonder what life would be like if I had to live through what the main character did in What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.

What Alice Forgot

Alice falls off a spinning bike, hits her head and wakes up thinking it’s 1998 instead of the 2008 that it is. She thinks she is still pregnant with her first child, not remembering that she has three kids. The book follows her journey as she tries to find her memories — and remember why exactly she is divorcing her husband, Nick.

I asked my husband a lot of questions as I read the book — which is normal for me. He thinks that if I forgot a full ten years, that I wouldn’t even want to be with him because we weren’t dating yet. We were just friends. I remind him of my crush on him, but he argued the point. I honestly don’t know. I don’t want to forget the past ten years… even the harder things. The past ten years of my life have been the hardest and most rewarding. Also, the funniest. I can’t imagine losing all of those inside jokes I have with my husband.

I will say that I did not like the way the author tidied up the end of the story with the epilogue. It didn’t feel authentic to the story or the characters, nor did I feel that it was written in the same style as the rest of the book. It didn’t feel like it matched, as though it was a last minute addition to please an editor. I greatly prefer the end of the book, pre-epilogue. Also, I could have done without the adoption storyline. I wasn’t expecting it as it isn’t mentioned on the back cover and it caught me off guard.

Small rants aside, I did love What Alice Forgot because it made me think — a lot — about my life and the memories I have… and the ones I have forgotten, on purpose or accidentally. I love books that make me think. Present Day Alice kind of annoyed me, but Past Alice provided a little bit of balance that I think all of the characters needed.

A new discussion is up at the BlogHer Book Club, asking what if you forgot the last 10 years?

 

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

 

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2 Replies to “Book Review: What Alice Forgot”

  1. I agree with the epilogue. I was perfectly happy with how the book ended. The epilogue was definitely too “tie everything up with a pretty bow” for me. Other than that, I adored this book.

  2. Love this book and like you it really got me thinking about the early years of my marriage. The thought of not really knowing ones kids (as happened to her since she didn’t remember them) was unspeakably sad but looking at oneself as if a stranger was an amazing device. I would have liked a bit more about her relationship with the woman across the street, thought she took too long to get to that, and she lost me with the whole lemon pie thing, but what a fun read!

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