When Alice wakes up at the gym after hitting her head, she thinks she's 29 years old, happily married to a wonderful man, about to have her first chil...moreWhen Alice wakes up at the gym after hitting her head, she thinks she's 29 years old, happily married to a wonderful man, about to have her first child; that she's close to her sister and, moreover, that she's kind of a timid, slightly overweight young woman who has no self confidence at all. Instead she discovers that she is in fact turning 40; a mother of three; there's something strange going on with her relationship with her sister and - how is this possible? - she's getting divorced. More than those facts, she starts to realize as days go by that far from being a sweet, soft spoken girl, she's actually a pretty tough, somewhat scary type A super mom - who has a ripped stomach and likes to run.
The book is an exploration of who Alice is now, and how she got that way -- what happened in those ten years to transform her from the Alice that Was to the Alice that Is? What are the deep secrets from her past that no one seems to want to talk about? Who is this mysterious tragic Gina to which everyone keeps referring? And most of all, what in the world happened to make her hate her husband - and him to hate her? Losing ten years of your life - and losing yourself in the process - is a fascinating concept and Moriarty plumbs it to its depths: the book explores what makes us who we are, how life changes us, and how we can both grow up and drift away as years go by. All of that and it's incredibly funny, as we experience Alice's shock at discovering who she has become. It reads like a thriller, as we race to uncover the clues and secrets that are buried in the past - "I'm sorry, I can't hear a heartbeat" is just one example of a memory to which Alice can't attach a context. All of the relationships are real and rich - especially between Alice and her sister, and Alice and her ex husband. The writing is sweet and sharp and detailed. And it has a perfect - not fantasy perfect, but perfectly right -- ending. I bought Liane Moriarty's two other books as soon as I finished this one. It was brilliant. Why isn't this a bestseller? Read now and say you found her early on.
This book was so brilliant it made me sad - I will never write anything in my life as good as even the first few pages of this book. Macbeth, retold i...moreThis book was so brilliant it made me sad - I will never write anything in my life as good as even the first few pages of this book. Macbeth, retold in Appalachia in the 20s, in a logging community? Brilliant idea. Gorgeous writing. Incredible sense of place and time. Suspenseful, thrilling story. Original, totally engaged characters. Awesomeness on every level. Dear Ron Rash, please write another novel.(less)
I LOVE this entire Mississippi series -- read them in order, starting with the Quiet Game and then Turning Angel, then Devil's Punchbowl. It's a fanta...moreI LOVE this entire Mississippi series -- read them in order, starting with the Quiet Game and then Turning Angel, then Devil's Punchbowl. It's a fantastic series of books, with elements of family drama, legal thriller, Southern gothic. It's exciting, a great portrait of a small town in the deep South, with threads of racial tension, mystery, and a series of family and town secrets unfolding over the course of the series. I CANNOT understand why these aren't huge bestsellers. There's only one caveat -- the Devil's Punchbowl ends on a cliffhanger (a real doozy), and the follow up has been delayed. It's supposed to be coming out end of 2011, but word is, it will ALSO end with a cliffhanger. Greg Iles, what are you doing to me? But seriously. These books are a great find, if you haven't read them before.(less)