Thursday, April 30, 2015

474 (2015 #31). What Alice Forgot

by Liane Moriarty

What might happen if you hit your head while working out, and came to only to learn that you'd "lost" ten years of your life?  That's what happens to Alice, pregnant with her first child, only to find it's ten years later, she's thin, she has three children, and her husband Nick, the love of her life, has left her.

As in Liane Moriarty's The Husband's Secret and Big Little Lies, this book also tells its story from the viewpoints of three main female characters.  Besides Alice's point of view (written in third person, from both age 29 and age 39), there were journal entries to her psychiatrist from Elisabeth, Alice's sister, dealing with infertility issues; as well as letters to a (dead) former flame written by Frannie, the "grandmother" to Alice and Elisabeth.   These didn't add much to Alice's main storyline, other than to help clarify what drove Alice and Elisabeth apart, and shed some light on their goofy mother (now married to Nick's father). They made the book a bit longer than it needed to be.

However, I loved the premise of this book, and the dialogue, especially that of Alice with her children - the children she doesn't "know" because she doesn't remember them.  The younger Alice is upbeat and optimistic - and rather horrified to learn how much she has changed (mostly NOT for the better) in the last ten years she "missed."  Of course, her memory slowly returns, and the ending is rather predictable, but getting there is compelling, even with the not-so-necessary side stories.

Best quote in the book:   "Early love is exciting and exhilarating. It's light and bubbly. Anyone can love like that. But love after three children, after a separation and a near-divorce, after you've hurt each other and forgiven each other, bored each other and surprised each other, after you've seen the worst and the best - well that sort of love is ineffable. It deserves its own word." 

© Amanda Pape - 2015

[This e-book was borrowed from and returned to my local public library.]

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