Thursday, October 2, 2014

"What Alice Forgot" by Liane Moriarty

Well, I've been thinking, and there's really not a lot I can tell you about this book without giving away a ton of information. But I'll do my best to review without giving away too much.

What if you had a chance to rewind your life? To start over and mend your mistakes?

Alice Love is our heroine in this story. The book opens with a dream-like scene. It's kind of random and muddled and out-of-context. We learn that Alice hit her head at the gym and blacked out for a moment. When she awakes she clearly remembers she is pregnant with her first child and she is soundly confused why she'd ever set foot in a gym. She's rushed to the hospital and observed overnight. She calls her husband, Nick, only to be chewed out by an unkind assistant that says he's in Portugal and doesn't want to be disturbed. Alice's sister, Elisabeth, shows up at the hospital looking completely foreign and perplexed. Alice can't make head or tails of her world.

The problem is it's 2008 and Alice had been expecting her first child in 1998. Her last memories were of being 29 years old and happily married and best friends with her sister. The Alice of 2008 is separated from her husband, distant with her sister, and has three children she can't remember giving birth to. 

In essence, Alice spends a week in the mindset of her 29-year-old self trying to piece together why the life of her 39-year-old self is falling apart. What had gone wrong in so many ways, and why? That's what Alice forgot...and a little bit more.

I LOVED LOVED LOVED this story. Moriarty has such a raw a witty writing style. Not only do see Alice's perspective of things, but she has included journal entries of Elisabeth to her therapist, as well as letters from her "adopted" grandmother to someone named Phil. I almost think Elisabeth's letters were my favorite parts. But then Alice would say or think something so human and so real I kept changing my mind on what I liked reading more. 

Here it comes: Amy's SOP on "What Alice Forgot." There's a smattering of language throughout the book. A few instances of the f-word and other typical foul language. They're pretty few and far between, considering. The funny thing is the language didn't bother me too much! In other books when I come across less-than-articulate words it sounds so affected, so gratuitous. Like the author is just going for shock factor or trying to not sound out-of-touch with modern readers. Here, however, the expressions of anger or frustration are so genuinely written. As a friend of mine said, concerning the language in the book, it might be a word she would use herself in those situations. (Not that she would ever--I cannot imagine her speaking like that, but it's pretty much how I felt, too.)  So, yes, there's language, but I don't have a big hang-up about it. How's that for funny. Maybe I'm losing my prude--whatever shall we do??

Also, there are some extra-marital relationships mentioned, but there's not a lot of detail at all. Those situations are referred to but there's no explicit scene of infidelity played out for the reader. So, there's that. So this book is definitely for mature audiences.

1 comment:

  1. I just started this a couple days ago and I am LOVING it! Even though I don't usually like feeling as confused as the protagonist, I'm REALLY appreciating the authenticity you have mirroring her feelings and emotions. And I do agree with you on the language so far. It's bothering me MUCH less than the language in Rainbow Rowell's "Fangirl", even if the frequency of usage IS reality right now. Anyhow, I'll check back in and let you know what I think at the end!