Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Alice is a published Harvard professor in psychology, specializing in linguistics. When she starts to forget small items, she thinks maybe she is headed for early menopause. The items she forgets start to become bigger problems and eventually Alice forgets where she is for a moment in Harvard Square. Still hiding this from her family, Alice visits her family doctor and a neurologist and is given a positive diagnosis: Alzheimer's.

Alice has to share this devastating news with her husband and family, knowing that there's a 50% chance her three children have the disease. Alice notices things getting worse and knows that it's her Alzheimers but can't stop it. Slowly this disease starts eating away from her, affecting everything she does and all of her relationships.

This book is guaranteed to hit home for anyone that has dealt with this disease. My grandmother lived with Alzheimers and after reading this book, I wonder if she knew that her memory lapses were from the disease and if she had similar thoughts to Alice's on whether she wanted to carry on and the depression of knowing that you're slipping away. An incredibly emotional read, this is both a tragic and captivating story. It makes you want to have discussions with your loved ones on how they will react if you ever contract the disease yourself, especially after the disappointing way Alice's husband reacts. It's hard to believe that this is Genova's first novel.

First Line: "Alice sat at her desk in their bedroom distracted by the sounds of John racing through each of the rooms on the first floor."


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