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Review: What Alice Forgot

August 18, 2011

At her spinning class one day, Alice Love falls off of her cycle and hits her head.  When she comes to, she thinks it’s ten years ago when she was pregnant with her first child – a time when her life was full of hopes and dreams.  Smells, phrases, and little moments bring her memory back piece by piece.  Alice can’t help but wonder how and why her life changed so drastically.

I read What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty, for my book club and my first thought when I picked up the book was, “it’s kind of thick and the print is rather small,” so I figured it would take me a while to finish it.  I couldn’t have been more wrong!  This book is so good, I whizzed right through it!

Even though the premise of the book probably isn’t that realistic – is it possible to lose just ten years worth of memories? – the reality is.  I think we often get so absorbed in the small things that bother us, that we forget to focus on all the good things we should be appreciating.  I know I’ve been guilty of this, and have made a real effort to dwell on the positive the last few years.  This book did make me think about how much my life has changed in the last ten years, and appreciate where I am.  If I’d read it when I was younger, it probably would have made me re-evaluate my life.

Not only is the story a great one, the characters in What Alice Forgot are fantastic too!  Some of them have their little quirks, but they’re all realistic and I found myself frustrated with and sympathetic for them in turn.  I rooted for Alice and her sister and wanted everything to turn out well for them.

This is one of those books that it’s hard to say much about without giving things away, but I loved What Alice Forgot and recommend it to those who like thought provoking books that are also entertaining.

Challenges: Amy Einhorn Challenge

Review copy provided by Penguin Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
62 Comments leave one →
  1. August 18, 2011 5:21 am

    I kind of like the premise of this book. I do hope it ends well for her 🙂

  2. August 18, 2011 5:50 am

    This was a bit out of my comfort zone reading wise for me, but I enjoyed it very much myself.

  3. August 18, 2011 6:30 am

    I’d like this one a lot, I think. I like these kinds of stories for some reason.

  4. August 18, 2011 6:48 am

    I haven’t heard about this book. Thanks for the review. I think I better be careful at spin class.

    I noticed that you are attending Club Read. I’m looking into it also – I’ve got to check the school schedule today and will know this evening.

  5. August 18, 2011 7:00 am

    I loved this book too. It really made me think about how our opinions are shaped and connections are formed to things.

  6. August 18, 2011 7:05 am

    As you know, I loved this book immensely. I read it in like a day or two, I couldn’t stop. And yes, it did make me stop and take inventory of my life. I think an outsider would think I was an angry person sometimes, with my life a whirlwind of activity and a high level of stress at times. I sure wish we could have had more people discuss this for book club!

  7. August 18, 2011 8:14 am

    I’ve been hearing so much about this one. A lot of readers have loved it. I can’t wait to get a copy of this one.

  8. August 18, 2011 8:33 am

    I haven’t heard of this one, but I like the premise!

  9. August 18, 2011 8:35 am

    This was the surprise book of the year so far – for me. Also picked by my book club – not sure I’d have read it otherwise. And I LOVED it 🙂

  10. August 18, 2011 8:57 am

    I’m not sure you can lose 10 years of memories from one bump on the head, but I’ve read some great reviews of this book, and would love to read it at some point. Thanks for the review.

  11. August 18, 2011 9:42 am

    Sounds a bit like the idea of Before I Fall, which I loved, so I’d probably love this too!

  12. August 18, 2011 9:46 am

    I just reviewed this one myself and was delighted with the suspense of not knowing what Alice would do or how she would react to the “new” things in her life. Glad you enjoyed it too.

  13. August 18, 2011 9:47 am

    What is it with the name Alice these days…there seem to be Alices in the title everywhere.
    your concern about the basic premise, losing 10 years. Well you are a better person than me if you can ignore questions about that coming into your mind again an again as you read. maybe because I have I have not learned to well on the positive! 😉

  14. August 18, 2011 10:06 am

    This sounds really good. I could use a re-evaluation right now unfortunately, so I’m sure this book would speak to me.

  15. August 18, 2011 10:08 am

    Sounds like your book club made a great choice this time 🙂
    When I first read about this one, I thought it sounded like it would be a lighter read than I take it it is. I have been guilty of letting the small things get to me far more often that I should, and I think this time in my life might be the perfect time to read this.
    Thanks for the great review 🙂

  16. August 18, 2011 10:27 am

    I’ve had the ARC of this for a few months now, but I’ve been holding off reading it since I’ve recently read a couple of books dealing with memory (Before I Go To Sleep and Turn of Mind). I was afraid they’d all blur together if I read them too closely together. Your review has convinced me that it’s time to give this one a read! Nice review!

  17. August 18, 2011 11:00 am

    I am reading this one right now, and loving it. It’s such a strange story, but also very compelling. I am about halfway through it, but can’t yet figure out why the husband is acting the way he is, and also trying to figure out what happened with Gina. Some parts of the book are very sad, but overall it’s a great read. Glad you loved it!

  18. August 18, 2011 11:14 am

    I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while! The premise, while unrealistic, sounds interesting. Like you, I’ve been trying to think more positively this year, so this one might be a good one to help with that goal. Great review!

  19. Veens permalink
    August 18, 2011 11:17 am

    Maybe if I read this book now, I will try and appreciate the bigger things in life too.
    This sounds like a fantastic read.

  20. August 18, 2011 11:24 am

    This is one of those books I keep skipping over when I see it at the bookstore. But with this review and Sandy’s, I definitely feel like it’s worth taking the time for!

  21. August 18, 2011 11:45 am

    I’ve seen a ton of buzz about this one so I’m glad it’s living up to the hype! It sounds rather bittersweet, if not a little bit depressing, but I kind of find that appealing! Is that wrong of me?

  22. August 18, 2011 12:32 pm

    It was definitely one of those books that made me reflect on my own life while I was reading it. It was far better than I thought it was going to be. I love surprises like that!

  23. August 18, 2011 12:32 pm

    Isn’t it funny how we judge books by size and word count! I can really be put off by real chunksters and they are often quite easy to get through. I love the sound of this one!

  24. August 18, 2011 1:03 pm

    I’m glad to hear you liked it. I have it on request at the library but was a little wishy-washy about whether I’d like it. From what you say, I will.

  25. August 18, 2011 1:07 pm

    Sounds like a winner! Glad you liked it so much.

  26. August 18, 2011 1:12 pm

    Maybe I should recommend this to my book club too! It’s one of those books I can’t wait to read.

  27. August 18, 2011 1:33 pm

    The premise sounds a bit sketchy but if it’s written well, we’ll accept anything, won’t we? I am willing to forgive quite a bit for engaging characters.

  28. August 18, 2011 2:12 pm

    Loved this book! Great review. I sure wish I could have discussed it at book club with you.

  29. August 18, 2011 2:32 pm

    This book sounds wonderful and I love that it’s thought-provoking. Although it may not be common, I think it’s possible to lose the last 10 years of your memory depending on what part of your brain is injured and other things. I know people who’ve lost 6 years, 8 years, all short term memory… but the story sounds worthwhile no matter!
    Thanks Kathy!

  30. August 18, 2011 2:52 pm

    This is in my TBR pile. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  31. August 18, 2011 3:21 pm

    Wow, how have I missed this one? Sounds fantastic, and it’s going directly on my TBR pile!

  32. August 18, 2011 4:06 pm

    I have only heard great things and look forward to reading this one. I usually don’t go for the hyped books but I think I will with this one. I’m sure it will end up on a few favourite list this year.

  33. August 18, 2011 4:11 pm

    I have wanted to read this one since I first heard about it, and each review only makes me that much more excited!

  34. August 18, 2011 4:52 pm

    My sister read this one and loved it…everyone who reads it feels the same way.

  35. August 18, 2011 5:02 pm

    Sounds excellent and easy to relate to. I’ve been wanting to read this one for ages.

  36. August 18, 2011 6:01 pm

    I really need to read faster!! This one has been on my list. Thank you for the wonderful review.

  37. August 18, 2011 6:06 pm

    i’m glad to see you enjoyed this one so much! i’m not a huge fan of books with amnesia involved, but i think i’m going to give this one a try after reading your review.

  38. August 18, 2011 6:28 pm

    I don’t want to meet the person who doesn’t like this book. I still haven’t read it but everyone I know has and loves it.

  39. August 18, 2011 6:35 pm

    I’ve had this one on my wish list for awhile. Did it generate a good discussion?

  40. Page permalink
    August 18, 2011 7:18 pm

    I read an ARC of this novel and it was great. I’m glad you enjoyed this quirky read.

  41. August 18, 2011 10:02 pm

    I’m really glad to hear you enjoyed this one! It’s on my wishlist and I can’t wait to get the chance to read it too.

  42. August 18, 2011 10:12 pm

    I can’t wait to read this.

  43. August 18, 2011 11:23 pm

    I have heard a lot about this book – thanks for the review! It does sound like a good one!

  44. stacybuckeye permalink
    August 18, 2011 11:57 pm

    I almost picked this up at Border’s last week. Now I’m regretting it.

  45. August 19, 2011 12:45 am

    Excellent review, Kathy! This does sound like a book that would make you appreciate all the “little things” we often take for granted (until they are gone).

    (P.S. I will be extra careful at Spin class!)

  46. August 19, 2011 6:24 am

    I like when a book is both thought provoking and entertaining even when you can’t really go into much detail for fear of giving too much away. Glad you enjoyed!

  47. August 19, 2011 7:02 am

    I was so sorry to have missed that discussion. Another Amy Einhorn winner.

  48. August 19, 2011 9:29 am

    I like the sound of this one. I usually enjoy books that deal with some sort of memory loss. It is an interesting situation to put a character in.

  49. August 19, 2011 12:12 pm

    I have a good friend who read this and raved about it. Memory loss seems to be a popular subject for novels. It does open a can of worms that has endless possibilities for a writer. I have this on my wish list and hope to read it soon. Who knew spinning class could be so dangerous!

  50. August 19, 2011 1:08 pm

    I’ve been meaning to get to this one. Sounds like I should bump it up the list! Thanks for the great review Kathy!

  51. August 19, 2011 4:05 pm

    I am just reading this now for my book club so I popped in to see what you thought of it. I’m glad you liked it! I’m really enjoying it so far.

  52. August 19, 2011 8:03 pm

    I actually know a guy who lost about 15 years of his memory. It’s really weird. He doesn’t remember his kids being born.

    This book sounds pretty interesting!

  53. August 19, 2011 8:53 pm

    I recall reading in a newspaper story about a local woman that was injured by a ceiling fan and lost all of her memories for the first 20 years of her life. It was a real challenge for her husband and children, but somehow they survived and started over.

    Sounds like a fascinating read!

  54. August 20, 2011 12:43 am

    I am not familiar with this book but will be on the look out for it! Sounds like one of those great weekend reads to simply escape into.

  55. August 20, 2011 3:47 pm

    It seems that everywhere I look, reviewers everywhere are touting it as the Book to read. I guess I’ll have to get my act together and look for it. Seems memory is a hit this summer… everywhere I look … it’s about memory and the impact on our lives as we know it.

  56. August 20, 2011 8:10 pm

    Yes, this book is a great pick! Interesting to learn so much from a fictional character, isn’t it? Alice’s story had me looking at my life (now) vs. ten years ago.

  57. August 20, 2011 9:01 pm

    I really enjoyed this one too. It did read really quickly and I thought it had so many levels to it. It was such a satisfying read!

  58. August 21, 2011 12:04 pm

    I’m reading this right now with one of my book clubs so I scanned your review. I am enjoying it a lot, there is much about the book that makes you think about life and relationships.

  59. August 21, 2011 4:05 pm

    I have come across a lot of positive reviews for this book and it sounds like something I would surely enjoy a lot. I love the idea of the story and always find myself in need of a reminder to appreciate the small things that I have.

  60. August 22, 2011 10:50 am

    The premise reminds me of Sophie Kinsella’s “Remember Me,” although a slightly lighter version. I enjoyed that one, so I will check this one out, too.

  61. August 28, 2011 11:39 pm

    I enjoyed this one a lot too!

  62. April 29, 2012 1:48 pm

    This sounds so good and I love when characters are named Alice.

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