Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books, June 2011
Where I Got It: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
My Rating: 4 stars
Alice Love wakes up on the floor of the gym after knocking herself unconscious during a spin class. She’s shocked to find herself in a gym, considering she hates the gym and is pregnant with her first child with her beloved husband Nick. At 29, she is living a happy little life, fixing up her new house with Nick and starting their little family. But it appears that Alice hit her head pretty hard as she discovers that she is actually 39 years old, has three children, and is in the middle of a bitter divorce. Ten years of memories has been wiped clean away, and Alice is shocked by the life she is living and how much things have changed in the past ten years. As she struggles to piece together the last decade, she discovers that the “Old Alice” and the “New Alice” have some work to do to put things back together again.
This was such a good book!! The first time I read the book description, I was instantly attracted to the premise, and Liane Moriarty did a fantastic job in fleshing it out and making it both humorous and emotional. There is also a strong mystery component to the book that I enjoyed immensely. (Who is this Gina that everyone is talking about? Why are Alice and Nick getting divorced? Why does Alice feel such a sense of fear and pain at a particular intersection?) Moriarty has fun with the premise but doesn’t forget to put an emotional base at the heart of the book to keep things grounded and involving. In addition, there is a very compelling subplot with Alice’s sister Elisabeth’s struggle with infertility that really tugged at my heart-strings, as well as a rather touching series of letters between Alice’s adoptive grandmother and a former romantic partner.
The book certainly makes you think about your own life. What if you woke up with the last 10 years of your life erased from your memory? What has changed in that time? How has your family changed? Your friendships? Your living arrangements? Your personality and appearance? It was interesting to put myself in Alice’s place and try to imagine how this book might have read if it was written about me instead of Alice. I imagine that anyone reading this book would find themselves wondering the same thing, and I think it is an interesting mental exercise. Like Alice, I think many of us would be shocked to find how our appearance, personality and living arrangements have changed dramatically and would struggle to make sense of our present lives.
If you’re looking for a fast-paced and stimulating read that offers both humor and pathos, What Alice Forgot would be an excellent choice. I enjoyed it immensely and found myself quite involved in finding out what fates would befall Alice and her family. Plus, the setting of Sydney, Australia would make it a good choice for a reading challenge with an international component! Highly recommended!
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