Welcome to another book-review for the Twisted Book Club! I started reading What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty because I really loved The Husband’s Secret. Of course, I read the summary, but that was not necessary because I had already put my confidence in Moriarty. I was excited because I really wanted to know how someone can forget 10 years of their life. Other than that, I was curious about Alice’s life and what would cause her to forget 10 years of it. Keep reading if you want to know more about What Alice Forgot.
What Alice Forgot is about Alice, a soon-to-be-40-year-old woman. However, after fainting at the gym and waking up, Alice thinks she is still 29. Meaning that Alice thinks she is pregnant with her first child. You can only imagine that a lot has happened in the 10 years she just forgot. First of all, Alice is not married to her husband Nick anymore. She is not pregnant, she has three children already: Madison, Thomas and Olivia. On top of that, she does not seem to be that close with her sister Elizabeth anymore. What Alice Forgot takes you through a journey of remembering. Especially remembering the past 10 years for the first time, which is actually beautifully done in this case.
What Alice Forgot is written from three perspectives. First you have Alice’s perspective. Alice’s perspective projects her current life and how she gradually starts remembering certain little things about her life, as well as her frustration when she ceases to remember other things at all. Then you have the perspective of Elizabeth, Alice’s sister and finally you have Frannie’s perspective, they consider her their grandmother. However, both Elizabeth’s and Frannie’s perspectives are conveyed through letters. Elizabeth’s letters are to her therapist, and Frannie’s letters are to her late ex-fiance Phil. Those are the three perspectives in the book, however, most of it is just from Alice’s perspective.
An important lesson from What Alice Forgot is that her forgetting the past 10 years of her life, made her able to look at things with fresh eyes, without any biases. For example, she looked at Nick differently, because she simply did not know what happened in the past 10 years and what caused their divorce. The same with Elizabeth, she did not know what happened and only remembered their childhood together. It also points out that people change too fast, without actually realizing it. Which is not necessarily good or bad. However, we do not always make the best decisions, we cease to remain unbiased and not so judgmental. Even with family and friends, we tend to drift away without us actually noticing it. Another important thing is that people tend to not talk about or dismiss their own feelings or the feelings of others.
Young Alice was a fool. A sweet, innocent fool. Young Alice hadn’t experienced ten years of living. But even as she tried to reason with her, scolded her, and grieved for her, young Alice stubbornly refused to go away. Over the months that followed she kept popping up. She’d be paying for petrol at the service station and find her hand reaching out for a bar of heavenly Lindt chocolate. She’d be hurrying between appointments and a voice would whisper in her head: Relax. Finally, she stopped resisting and called a truce. Young Alice was allowed to stay as long as she didn’t eat too much chocolate.
To me, it means that even though young Alice might not have come at peace with what old Alice has become (and vice versa), Alice has been able to find her own balance between the two. Also, I think that Alice has realized that both remembering and forgetting can be a blessing and a curse. Eventually, she has been able to acept both versions of herself and construct a whole new one and that is beautiful.
I do recommend What Alice Forgot because it is pretty straightforward and beautifully written. Liane Moriarty made it happen again. She sewed the stories and characters effortlessly together in this novel. Just like the other books, this one is easy to go through. I was not disappointed, and I think that Alice’s journey of remembering is something we can all learn from. Of course, you’ll have to read it yourself to know what I mean. I’ll definitely do another review about another Moriarty book!
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