When 50-year-old Alice Howland, a professor at Harvard at the height of her career, is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, she is determined to continue living life the way she always has. Just with a few reminders thrown in on her phone and the help of her husband and three grown children. But the memory loss becomes more of an issue every day, as well as forgetfulness and confusion. To the point where she’s unsure who her family members are. Genova gives her readers a front seat experience to what it’s like to literally lose your mind to Alzheimer’s through the eyes of Alice.
If you’re looking for a quick recommendation, yes, I would definitely recommend this book!
I think of Genova as a lot like Mitch Albom. Except she focuses more on fatal diseases and how they directly affect individuals. I first watched the movie Still Alice, and by the end, I didn’t feel a dying need to read the book, but I added it to my TBR list anyway, since the story was interesting enough. It’s definitely sad, and if you know someone who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or affected by it, then it might hit closer to home.
I’ve never read a book about it, but this one sure brought it up close and personal. Even if I’ve never known someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I don’t think I can ever look at the same way. Sure, everyone’s seen or read The Notebook, but this is different. Genova shows her readers in first-person just what it would be like to lose your mind to a cloud of confusion and fear. I certainly have more empathy for anyone affected by this disease.
The only part I didn’t like was the ending. It felt sudden. By the end, Alice had lost most of her memories and she was no longer able to take care of herself, but it just ended there. I closed the book wondering if that was really it. But it’s a pretty quick read. The writing is easy and the story is quick, making it a good read for busy moms. I’d say, if you’ve watched the movie and you’re interested in reading the book, give it a try.
Although, I’d warn most readers that it’s a rather depressing read. One that’s sure to stick with you for a while. Genova has a great way of making the disease personal, but scientific as well. She’s a professor at Harvard of neuroscience, and you can definitely tell she knows what she’s talking about when she talks about Alzheimer’s and the effects it has on the human brain. Overall, I would recommend this to a busy mom. Just be warned it’s a bleak read.
Four out of five stars
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If you enjoyed my review of Still Alice by Lisa Genova, you might also like The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Check out my review!
If you’re interested in purchasing Still Alice, here are some quick links to buy the book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And, if you’re interested to see what others think, here’s the link to the book on Goodreads.