Can you imagine waking up tomorrow and not remembering the last 10 years of your life? Where would you be? Who would you be? It would be the year 2007! For me, that means I would be 15 years old, living at home with my mom & sister, and a SOPHOMORE in High School! Not only would that be crazy, but also a little scary. This is exactly what the main character Alice is going through in the book What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.
Alice Love, is a 39 year old woman who is currently going through a divorce with her husband Nick and she has 3 children. The only thing is, when we first meet Alice she is just coming to after having an incident at the gym which has caused her to hit her head, resulting in Alice not remember the last 10 years of her life. For Alice, she thinks she was recently married and is currently pregnant with her 1st child. As the story unfolds, Alice slowly learns about the events that have happened in her life in the last 10 years, most of which she cannot believe happened and that she could even forget. We quickly see that the 39 year old Alice is very different than the 29 year old Alice with regards to how she acts, dresses, and what she is interested in. Not only is Alice trying to fill in the blanks of the last 10 years, but as she struggles with what her life has become she is searching to see if there is a way to reconstruct her life as it once was.
My thoughts on the book
I have never read anything written by Liane Moriarty before so I was unsure what to expect. Liane is also the author of Big Little Lies which has recently been turned into a TV show. I learned from others that the author has a very specific style of writing. The author has many stories within one book, all which connect but you are getting storied from many different points of view throughout her books. I have no problem with multiple stories in a book of different points of view when there is a clear indications of the change like with each chapter being something different. With the book, What Alice Forgot these changes in point of view occur within chapters and at times it made things confusing. The majority of the book is told from Alice’s point of view or from a 3rd person perspective looking at Alice’s life. The other 2 stories intertwined were told in the 1st person format coming from Alice’s sister Elizabeth and from Frannie. You will have to read the book to find out who Frannie is as that was part of the fun of the book.
This book was once again, another book club read. At book club, most of us agreed that we enjoyed the book. As the book was on the longer side (459 pages) but was overall a quick read. Most agreed that the extra point of view and story from Elizabeth’s point of view added something extra to the story and was appreciated, however the Frannie parts were a little unnecessary and didn’t seem to connect to the rest of the book. There was a lot of information in the book as Alice (and the reader) try to understand everything that has happened in the last 10 years. When it came down to the last few chapters though, it felt very rushed and not enough information was given. Myself and many others at book club agreed that it would have been nice to get more information at the end of the book as well as in the epilogue. I definitely recommend this book and look forward to the movie version that is coming soon! If you are anything like me, be prepared though to do some self-reflection while reading along.