Saturday, January 12, 2013

2013 Books in Review #2: Still Alice

I finished book #2 for the year on January 8th! I read it in only two days, it sucked me in and I couldn't put it down. It was one of my many books I got for Christmas and I'm happy to have read it.
Still Alice is written from the point of view of Alice, a wife, mother of three young adult children, author and Havard professor. At only 50 years old she is diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease. She loses her memories and her ability to function as she did, eventually needing quite significant care.
Writing from the point of view of Alice, instead of from the viewpoint of her husband or one of her children brought a quality to the telling that reminded me some of Room (in which the five year old recounts the horrible series of events instead of his mother and in a way makes them easier to read about). She isn't nearly as scared and horrified as her children are, especially as the disease progresses, because the worse it gets, the less aware of it she is and she lacks the context to feel the full despair that she would otherwise feel.
Having watched a loved one go through Alzheimer's disease (though not early onset) I found myself lost in some of my own pain during some of the more challenging scenes. One of her first moments of losing memory of her family involved Alice praising the talent of a young actress, totally unaware that it was her daughter. Moments like that for the family of someone with memory loss are heartbreaking.
All in all the story was woven in a unique way and it is well worth the read. 
Still Alice is Book #2 on my reading list, gives me another letter in my A-Z challenge, and my first book in my Women authors challenge.

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