I was planning on making a separate blog for book reviews for novels (I have some reviews of craft books coming up too that would have been on here), but I don’t really want to have to come up with a new theme and all that blog stuff right now. Maybe at a later date. For now, here goes.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. All affiliate links are marked with an *. All opinions are 100% my own though.
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Source: borrowed from my sister
Published by: Berkley
Pub. Date: First published 2009
Formats Available: Paperback, eBook
Buy It: Amazon*
Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.
So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes.
Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over.
After finishing the book I went and read some reviews of it on Goodreads. There were many positive reviews but what interested me most was that many readers either didn’t mention the side stories (her sister’s or her grandmother’s) or they didn’t like them. Interesting for me because in a way it was her sister’s story that affected me the most.
In a way I can relate with Alice: she’s married with young children (although her amnesia means she doesn’t know them), has problems in her marriage (what married couple doesn’t fight?) and we’re about the same age (her 2008 age I mean). When she comes to realize that she’s drifted away from longtime friends in the 10 years she’s lost, I can relate. Kids, jobs, marital situation, all have a factor in how often you can get together with a friend (I mean husbands like it if you spend time with them too usually). Her apparent 2008 social life and financial situation I don’t relate to whatsoever, ha. Although I’m more like 1998 Alice than 2008 Alice. I’ve always been more like 1998 Alice, so it’s hard for me to see how she could change so much in just a few years and all because of just one person really. Other than that I really did enjoy her whole storyline and seeing how her week or so of amnesia helps her to rebuild relationships.
Her sister Elisabeth’s storyline is something I can relate to really well. [POSSIBLE TRIGGER WARNING] Elisabeth has been having fertility issues with multiple miscarriages. Now that is something I can truly get. I do have to beautiful daughters but I’ve also lost four to miscarriage. I wonder if Elisabeth’s story line is why my sister practically forced me to borrow this book from her. Elisabeth’s story is woven throughout the book in the form of journal entries she writes to her therapist. At one point she describes her second miscarriage (and pregnancy) and how they kept that pregnancy hidden because they didn’t want to jinx it but then when the miscarriage happened she felt the need to tell people about it anyway.
Afterward, I felt it had been wrong not telling the family about the baby, because then I wanted them to know about the miscarriage, so that they knew the baby had existed. […] People weren’t as upset as with the first one, and how could they be, when they’d only just heard it existed in the first place. I felt this ridiculous protective feeling for my January baby, as if nobody loved her[…]
THIS. SO MUCH THIS. This is exactly what I was going through when we didn’t say anything about the last one. I felt like nobody cared except for me. And people made offhand remarks that I’m sure they didn’t mean to be hurtful but still hurt. (Like telling my brother-in-law and his future wife that they were her last hopes of having twin grandchildren just four weeks after my last miscarriage. Ummm.. I didn’t remember talking to her about whether or not I was done trying yet). … Anyway, if you ever you want to know what a person may be feeling after experiencing a miscarriage then I suggest reading this book just to read Elisabeth’s journal entries.
It’s really hard to review this book without giving everything away. I liked how it wrapped up in the end. It’s a good, quick read if you’re into chick-lit and/or Liane Moriarty books.
(I gave an extra star just for Elisabeth’s story and took off a star because I couldn’t believe that someone could go from being quiet and shy to outgoing and domineering in about 8 years, haha).