November 22, 2012

What Alice Forgot AND a Giveaway!

Nick, you will never believe how this man spoke to me. You will want to punch him in the nose when you hear. Except it's so strange, because it was you, Nick, you were the man.
-from What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

I almost didn't read this book because of the mixed reviews, but I am so glad that I did! I think this is a book that every woman should read, twice if possible (a decade between each read). What Alice Forgot opens as Alice Love falls at the gym during a spin class and loses ten years worth of memories. Instead of being a happy-go-lucky 29-year old, happily married and newly pregnant, Alice finds she's actually almost 40 with 3 children and in the process of a divorce. She also comes to find that the woman she once aspired to be isn't exactly how she turned out, which both impresses and horrifies her. Through her bout of amnesia, Alice is able to reevaluate her life through the rose-colored lenses of her youth and is given an opportunity to make some changes in her life she couldn't have appreciated without this new perspective. 

Many reviews I read said that this book was too long; some argued the beginning should have been cut, some argued the end. Honestly, I don't think this book would have been the same if cut in half and I thought the length was perfect. While the beginning is a little slow and it takes some time to grow attached to the characters, Moriarty does a wonderful job of weaving Alice's present-day experience in with her memories to give the reader the best understanding of how Alice is maneuvering through her amnesia. Just as Alice develops memories that are reintroduced into her life, so the reader gains a new piece to the puzzle of Alice's life. While this slow development can be frustrating, I found it necessary for telling the story. 

This book is powerful in that it challenges the reader to examine their own life with a different perspective. Alice is able to do this in many areas of her life that have changed, but most important is her relationship with her husband and her relationship with her sister. Without the memories of the past decade, Alice is not weighed down by the hurt and bitterness of each relationship so she is better able to meet the needs of those around her. While not all of us are given an opportunity to look at our lives as objectively as Alice, this book invites you to strip away the emotions and memories that cloud your everyday lens to see life with the optimism of youth. As I mentioned, I think this book should be read by every woman, twice if possible: once before turning 30 and again later in life. I think it will be interesting to read again when I'm older and maybe less optimistic like Alice. Hopefully I won't have to do so much damage control!

Bottom Line: Every woman should read this book. If it starts out a little slow and disjointed, give it time and keep reading. While I'm very conservative about giving out perfect scores, I really think the message of this book pushes it past the 4½ stars the story and writing might deserve. ★★★★★/5

But Wait.... There's More!! 

Because I'm so thankful for you guys, one lucky reader is going to win a paperback copy of What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty and all you have to do is be a follower of this blog {i.e. GFC, BlogLovin, etc}! You can earn more entries after you follow! Enter below for a chance to win! A winner will be selected at random next week, and who knows, I might throw in some more goodies at random! :) Best wishes!

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your loved ones! I'll be spending time with family, shopping until and I pass out, and trying to sneak in as much time as I can reading Adulation by Elisa Lorello! ;)


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