Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Book Review: Still Alice - Lisa Genova

Still Alice
Genova's debut revolves around Alice Howland - Harvard professor, gifted researcher and lecturer, wife, and mother of three grown children.  One day, Alice sets out for a run and soon realizes she has no idea how to find her way home.  It's a route she has taken for years, but nothing looks familiar.  She is utterly lost.  Is her forgetfulness the result of menopausal symptoms?  A ministroke?  A neurological cancer?  After a few doctors' appointments and medical tests, Alice has her diagnosis, and it's a shocker--she has early-onset Alzheimer's disease.
What follows is the story of Alice's slow but inevitable loss of memory and connection with reality, told from her perspective.  She gradually loses the ability to follow a conversational thread, the story line of a book, or to recall information she heard just moments before.  To Genova's great credit, readers learn of the progression of Alice's disease through the reactions of others, as Alice does, so they feel what she feels--a slow building terror.

3/5 stars (liked it)
This book was very emotional.  You get to know Alice so well and see how the progression of the disease affects her daily life as well as her relationship with her husband, co-workers and children.  In a sense it bring her closer to her children but in another it takes her farther away.  A very sad story in the sense that you know you will lose the Alice you met in the beginning.

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