What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
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Release Date: May 2010
Publisher: PanMacmillan Australia
Goodreads description: Remember the woman you used to be …
Alice is twenty-nine. She is whimsical, optimistic and adores sleep, chocolate, her ramshackle new house and her wonderful husband Nick. What’s more, she’s looking forward to the birth of the ‘Sultana’ – her first baby.
But now Alice has slipped and hit her head in her step-aerobics class and everyone’s telling her she’s misplaced the last ten years of her life.
In fact, it would seem that Alice is actually thirty-nine and now she loves schedules, expensive lingerie, caffeine and manicures. She has three children and the honeymoon is well and truly over for her and Nick. In fact, he looks at her like she’s his worst enemy. What’s more, her beloved sister Elisabeth isn’t speaking to her either. And who is this ‘Gina’ everyone is so carefully trying not to mention?
Alice isn’t sure that she likes life ten years on. Every photo is another memory she doesn’t have and nothing makes sense. Just how much can happen in a decade? Has she really lost her lovely husband forever?
I had tried to read What Alice Forgot a few years ago and I think I was in a very “no baby, no pregnancy” mode, so I just stopped when that came up. I’ve seen The Husband’s Secret on lists and I’ve wanted to read it, and Danielle at The Book Barn mentioned What Alice Forgot on a Top Ten Tuesday a while ago, so I decided to try it again! I’m really glad that I did!
Alice hits her head and loses her memory. She thinks she’s 29, pregnant and madly in love with her husband. She wakes up in a gym to find that she is ten years older and everything has changed, especially how she operates.
I’m kind of a fan of memory loss books/situations in general. I didn’t exactly know what to expect from this one, but it wasn’t what I got. The story starts out with Young Alice, and the impression that something is wrong. But you get to know her, and I liked her a lot. She was fun and a bit silly, but she didn’t seem vapid or annoying. When she wakes up at the gym, ten years older and without a clue, she has to figure out the changes she’s made as a person. She is continually confused by her current life. She has to start at the end and work her way backwards, picking up clues and memories along the way.
I liked how Young Alice wasn’t happy with everything in her “new” life. There were changes that just weren’t okay with her and she was intense at finding where connections went wrong and actually trying to do something about them. It felt very much like a book about connections and saying the things you need to say and making changes when they’re needed. Young Alice didn’t know the whole story, but she definitely felt things were wrong and wanted to make them better. She wasn’t content, especially with misunderstandings in the future, she was active. The reconciliation of Present Alice and Young Alice was interesting, and actually seeing the change first hand instead of reading what other people told Alice when she was without her memory. Alice was able to learn a lot about herself , which always leads to personal growth.
There were some things I didn’t love about the book, one weird past friendship and some other things that were odd, but nothing huge. Some things might have been a little easy considering everything going on, but I was willing to let it slide.
What Alice Forgot was fun, sad, and heartwarming. I was eager to see how it would end, and what Alice would remember. I loved the connections in the book, and the family aspects. I loved how active Alice was in making changes. I think this is a book I might want to reread at some point, and I’m more interested in Moriarty’s other work, especially the incredibly long waitlisted The Husband’s Secret! I recommend What Alice Forgot if you like books about memory loss, strong connections, mishaps, and development.
Liane Moriarty‘s website
YAY! I’m glad you enjoyed it!! I really loved the lesson to recognize the great things in your life instead of taking them for granted. I think it’s easy to over-complicate things as we get older and Alice is a perfect example of someone who is no longer content with the simple life that made her so happy and optimistic when she was younger. I see a lot of that discontent in myself sometimes, which is why I connected so deeply with this novel. It flicked me in the head and said, “You have everything you wanted when you were younger, why don’t you appreciate that?” haha! 😉 Great review!!
Oooooo this one sounds like a fun read! I’ll have to add it to my wish list, thanks for sharing! 🙂