January 18, 2014
What Alice Forgot
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
2011 Amy Einhorn Books (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Finished on 9/26/13
Rating: 4.5/5 (Terrific!)
Alice Love is twenty-nine years old, deeply in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child. Or so she thinks. Everything she knows to be true vanishes the day she wakes up on the floor of a gym (a gym? She HATES the gym!) to learn she is actually thirty-nine, has three children, and is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce.
With a decade of memories gone, Alice has to place together who she has become. But she isn’t sure if she likes what she sees, and she discovers that in the end, forgetting might be the most memorable thing that’s ever happened to her.
I don’t know why I waited so long (three years!) to read this book. Perhaps after reading several novels, back-to-back, dealing with memory loss (Still Alice, Before I Go to Sleep, and Turn of Mind), I wanted to wait and let this one stand alone in my memory. Or maybe after hearing a co-worker rave about it, I wanted to wait for the hype to settle down. Whatever the reason, it was certainly worth the wait. I began the book on our flight to New Mexico (yes, back in September!) and was completely engrossed, barely nodding my head at the flight attendant when asked if I wanted something to drink. Our days were long and full as we explored Santa Fe, Taos and the surrounding mountain areas, so I didn’t find much time for reading, but I did get quite a bit more read on our flights back to Lincoln, finishing up a few days after we’d returned home. I loved the originality of the story and was disappointed when the final pages drew near. This is one I’m going to hang on to, with hopes of a re-read in the coming years. It might also be entertaining on audio, as the dialogue is quite humorous.
Set in 2008, poor Alice has no recollection of the past decade. Baffled by the mention of Y2K, texting, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (what happened to Gwyneth??), she is, more importantly, confused about her personal history. Who are those three children and why do they keep calling her Mummy? Part love story, part mystery, and yet not your typical breezy beach read, What Alice Forgot is an addictive, humorous and thought-provoking story and one that you’ll want to pass around to all your friends. I’m eager to curl up with some more books by Moriarty. Any recommendations? I keep hearing that The Husband’s Secret is another smart, funny novel.
P.S. Jojo Moyes and Liane Moriarty may be my new favorite authors of 2013.