Title: What Alice Forgot
Author: Liane Moriarty
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
Publication Date: June 2, 2011
Hardcover: 432 pages
What would happen if you were visited by your younger self, and got a chance for a do-over?
Alice Love is twenty-nine years old, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child. So imagine her surprise when, after a fall, she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! she HATES the gym!) and discovers that she’s actually thirty-nine, has three children, and is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce.
A knock on the head has misplaced ten years of her life, and Alice isn’t sure she likes who she’s become. It turns out, though, that forgetting might be the most memorable thing that has ever happened to Alice.
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty exceeded all of my expectations and kept me turning the pages well into the wee hours of the morning. Based on the blurbs on the back of my ARC copy, I assumed What Alice Forgot would be a lighter beach-type read and since I was feeling low yesterday I thought, why not give it a go and I am so very glad I did. The book opens with Alice Mary Love on the floor of the gym she belongs to, when she awakes she cannot recall anything that has occurred in the past ten years and is stunned to learn it is now 2008, she has three children, and is divorcing the love of her life. However the story is not just about Alice, rather Moriarty goes far deeper and brings into play the life of Alice’s sister Elisabeth, who we learn the most about in her journal entries to her psychiatrist Dr. Hodges. The reader is also introduced to Alice’s and Elisabeth’s beloved Grandmother, Frannie, who is beginning a new chapter in her life and the reader learns a lot about her and her family through her letters to Phil. The concept behind What Alice Forgot is an intriguing one and did make me ponder what would by 10-year younger self think of what I have done with my life? While Moriarty digs deep into familiar relationships as well and friendships, deeper issues such as divorce, infertility and depression are fully covered, yet Moriarty keeps the stories from becoming too weighted down by the use of wit and a lot of it as well as an ensemble of characters and the duel with 29-year-old Alice trying to reconcile what 39-year-old Alice has become and the results of her actions. What Alice Forgot is an honest and insightful look into the human mind and relationships and this is done exceptionally well. Throughout the book my sympathies changed quite often and with the wide cast of characters I had little difficulty either identifying with a character or placing a face of someone I know to one of the secondary characters. What Alice Forgot is an extremely clever, insightful book about women, relationships, and aging. Each time I told myself I would just read one more chapter only to discover I had to find out what would happen next, so beware readers, What Alice Forgot is an extremely addictive page turner that one will not want to set down. I would recommend What Alice Forgot to all women; men may gain insights into the minds of women as well.
To learn more about Liane Moriarty and her books please visit her website.
I received a complimentary ARC of What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty from Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.