Thursday, May 31, 2012

What Alice Forgot

Title:  What Alice Forgot
Author:  Liane Moriarty
Publication Information:  Penguin Group. 2009. 426 pages.

Book Source:  I found this book while browsing through the new book section of our library.

Favorite Quote:  "She had always had a slight mistrust of busy people; the sort of people who described themselves as 'Flat-out! Frantic!' What was the hurry? Why didn't they just slow down? Just what exactly were they so busy doing?"

What if you woke up one day and part of your life was missing? That is what happens to Alice. She thinks it is 1998, and she is happily married and pregnant with her first child. In reality, it is 2008. Alice is the mother of three children and on the brink of divorce. An accident at the gym has resulted in amnesia - what Alice forgot is the last ten years of her life. The book tells the story of her discovery of who she is as a person and the reconciliation between her "present" and the actual present time.

The most interesting part of the book is the comparison between who Alice was and who she is ten years later. Often, change creeps up on us slowly such that we don't even realize it has happened. However, Alice is face to face with her own self - ten years apart. She discovers that she does not recognize the person she has become.

Gradually, we learn about the events and circumstances of the ten years that Alice forgot. Alice has a chance to reflect different roads she might have taken and different choices she could have made.  The thought of a do-over in life is a tempting. Alice does not really get a do-over because she cannot undo the last ten years. However, her reflections can lead to different choices and changes in the future.

Overall, What Alice Forgot was an interesting book. However, the same story could be told in fewer than 400 pages. Parts of the book felt a little long and a little repetitive. That aside, the story and the premise of a fresh look at our lives is such a tempting one.

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