Friday, September 23, 2016
Review: Still Alice
By Lisa Genova
Genre Adult contemporary
Alice Howland is a professor at Harvard, a mother of three and living her perfect life in Boston. It seems nothing could go wrong. Until Alice starts forgetting things. When she's diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's her world is shattered.
Even then, there were neurons in her head, not far from her ears, that were being strangled to death, too quietly for her to hear them.
Another book club book. I actually voted to read this book even though I knew it would be sad. Most people in my book club weren't overly excited to read it but, in the end, they loved it. I loved it too.
It was heart wrenching to read. And while I didn't cry, the book certainly pulled on my heartstrings. I hate to use the train wreck cliche but there's just no better way describe reading this book. I just simply couldn't look away.
In the beginning, Alice reminded me of Joan Didion from The Year of Magical Thinking. She had this unreal life that just seemed too perfect and she came off as arrogant. Mind you, Alice is fictional and Joan isn't but I saw plenty of similarities and I was a bit worried I wouldn't be able to have any compassion for poor Alice. I did. It was so hard to read about her mind and memories slipping away. I can't even imagine.
The ending of the book was my absolute favorite part. Because here you are reading this dreadfully sad book and then that ending!!! It just made me feel good. Loved it!
The discussion came up in book club of what exactly the purpose of this book was. Some people thought it was just too sad and that it left them feeling depressed. Was that its purpose? I think it was just to educate us about Alzheimer's. And it did. And it gave me a lot more compassion for those suffering from it.
Should you read it?
I hate to sound like one of "those" people but I think everyone should read this book.