Blogger Bookclub #9: What Alice Forgot

26.1.16

"I'LL KNOW WHEN YOU GET YOUR MEMORY BACK....BY THE WAY YOU LOOK AT ME"



 

IN A NUTSHELL:
Alice is at the gym when she hits her head.  Waking up, she has no memory of the last 10 years of her life; that includes having 3 children (last she knew she was pregnant with the first),  becoming Class Mum, filing for divorce from her beloved husband, dating the school principal and the mystery of her best friend.  As Alice waits to regain her memory she vows to get her life back to the simpler one she once knew.  As well as following the plotline of Alice's narrative, there are also diary entries her sister writes to her therapist and blog posts written by Frannie, her honorary grandmother.


THE (MAIN) CHARACTERS:
Alice | protagonist Alice is 39 but still thinks she's 29.  Apparently she's an uber-organised, busy-body member of the community with a sharp tongue when it comes to her estranged husband.  But the Alice we meet is sweet, clumsy and can't work out how she and said husband, Nick, fell out of love.

Elisabeth | Alice's sister.  She's been through a lot and harbours resentment towards Alice - resentment Alice can't understand or remember.  Their lives have drifted apart over the missing 10 years and we watch as the sisters' relationship begins to thaw and Elisabeth's life starts to turn around.

Gina | the mysterious, absent best friend who seems to have played a big part in the downfall of Alice and Nick's marriage.

Dominick | school principal and Alice's new boyfriend.

Madison, Tom and Olivia | Alice and Nick's three children.


 FINAL THOUGHTS:
// This book felt like too light-hearted a take on what is actually a pretty serious subject matter.  Alice has no memory of being a mother, no idea how to look after her children and what their routine is, yet the other characters seem to have very little issue with leaving her alone with them as they would normally.  Nobody seems to take an active role in helping her get her memories back, filling in the blanks that she can't remember, and I found that a really unusual thing.

// Madison is 9, but this honestly isn't written as a believable 9 year old.  I work with this age group and can't imagine any of them cooking meals, behaving like a teenager and speaking so eloquently, yet rudely, to their parents.  I really struggled to believe in Madison as a character and it took away from the impact of her as a character.

// The additional plotlines were unnecessary.  I started off reading Frannie's blog posts but eventually took to skipping past them.  There's one towards the end which brought extra information to Alice's main story, and I found reading Elisabeth's bitter diary entries started to grate on me.  She's had a rough ride, but I found the way they interrupted Alice's story a little confusing and they could have done with being much shorter and fewer.

// The ending is a let down.  There's a twist at the end but then the author seems to change her mind and do a 180.  It all felt rushed and could have done with either the twist being taken out, or cutting the very end off and finishing the book at the turning point.

// I enjoyed the aspect of looking back on Alice and Nick's relationship and seeing how they fell out of love.  With Alice's more simple vantage point, not muddied by arguments and tension, she focuses more on how the fact that they love each other is more important than the bad feeling between them.  It was an interesting thread which made me consider how relationships change and whether it would be easy to put them back on track.


READ IF YOU LIKE:
Longer chick-lit.  This book nearly hits 500 pages and isn't the quickest read, but then it doesn't dig particularly deep or provide anything too thought-provoking.


THE OTHER REVIEWS:
Leanne and Sarah.

2 comments

  1. 500 pages sounds like a lot of work for a chick lit story usually theyre so small! Sounds like an interesting main idea for a story though.

    http://abigailalicex.com

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  2. I read this book last year and thought it was quite funny although having worked in a School community I thought her observations of parent cliques were quite spot on. I enjoyed this a lot more than some of her other reads as like you say they kind of have a serious subject matter but are supposed to be humorous which doesn't always pan out.

    Sundays and Ink | http://sundaysandink.com

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