Danielle's Reviews > What Alice Forgot

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
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's review
Mar 31, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2011-favorites, books-i-own, chicklit, for-review
Read in April, 2011

If Alice Love had been told she could time travel to her twenty-nine year old self she would have laughed in your face. This isn’t only because the possibility of that happening would require bending time, but also…she detests the person she was ten years ago. Alice is now a take charge busy body with three children, a boyfriend, a divorce in the works and numerous activities that devour the time of everyone around her. When suddenly the unexpected happens and she’s the a younger less jaded version of herself things begin to change, potentially for the better.

Where do I really begin with a book that connects on so many levels? It’s rare that a book covers so many aspects of life through a relatively small cast of characters, but What Alice Forgot definitely does. Although, thinking back on it there were quite a few characters, but the way in which Liane Moriarty wrote about them was so natural that I felt they each could have been part of my own family. They came with baggage, with joy and pain, love and loss, a story to be told and somehow after a hefty 400+ page novel I still wanted to keep reading into the wee hours of the night. My heart soared when their joys were told, often making me laugh quite loudly, but I felt as though I shared in their pain as each struggled to overcome the obstacles in their lives.

Most of my readers know that I have two children and a very busy husband who’s an attorney, so I quite easily connected with Alice. Especially as she describes her reasons behind seeking out the friendship of the elusive Gina in the story. Having children changes you in ways you never imagine and as she talked about that loneliness she felt I absolutely understood. Friends are a necessary part of surviving these early years, I’m positive, but for Alice she took it just a bit too far. It was that part where she (and her husband Nick) disconnected herself from her marriage, placing them on separate journeys that she lost what she once loved so much and it absolutely made me think about what I value in my own marriage. It’s easy to get caught up and “busy” so as to distract from the work involved in making things work and both Alice & Nick were to fault in their situation.

It was also extremely easy to connect with Elisabeth, Alice’s sister. Having suffered from infertility myself and having two sisters who also suffer with it (one closer to Libby’s situation actually), I felt my heart ache for her broken heart. That yearning, desire and heartbreak is something that I think can only be experienced first hand. What I was grateful for was how eloquently Moriarty wrapped up Libby’s feelings at the end, I’ve never had anyone explain exactly those feelings of wavering between adoption and continuing down an incredibly difficult path so well. It had me in tears and it’s something I hope to share with those close to me.

With all of this said I should also add that I absolutely fell in love with the love stories of each of the characters. Alice & Nick, Libby & Ben, Barb & Roger and lastly Frannie & “Mr.M”. Each brought something completely different based on their experience and age. Some were new loves at a very old age and some were old loves at a very young age. What was wonderful about it was the way each couple, no matter how different, each cherished their significant other. The small things, like Ben jumping to task when Libby ask for anything or “Mr.M” remembering about a small purchase and asked Frannie about it. It’s those little things that add up to quite a bit, “the memories of happier times” that get you through the rough ones. It was absolutely wonderful to read about each and every one.

Simply a beautiful story about family, friends, love and the things that matter most in life. Alice Love and especially her sister Libby are characters that will stay with me for years to come. Readers will absolutely laugh, cry, sympathize and connect to these characters that seem to jump from real life into the pages of this spectacular novel. What Alice Forgot will have you wondering what it is that you’ve forgotten, are you cherishing those people and relationships in your life that matter most or do you focus on the business of life? It’s definitely got me thinking about how I would at things from a version ten years or even five years younger than myself, perspective changes everything. More than a “feel good” novel, What Alice Forgot reaches straight to core of all that is important in life and has you taking stock of where you stand. I’m a changed person for having read this gorgeous novel and I can’t wait to share it with everyone I love & care for. Simply beautiful.

Originally reviewed and copyrighted at Chick Lit Reviews.
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