What Alice Forgot by Liane Morarty

“What if you could skip ahead ten years, and spend time with your future self?  Would you recognize who you’ve become?  This is the premise for Liane Moriarty’s novel What Alice Forgot.

One morning while in a step aerobics class, 39 year old Alice falls and hits her head.  When she wakes up, she believes it is 1998, and she is care-free, kind, in love with her husband, pregnant with their first child, and just beginning to restore their dream home.  The reality is that her 39 year old self doesn’t match up with that Alice – 2008 Alice has a beautiful home, three children, a marriage that’s crumbled, and a personality that is nothing like her former self.

As the story unfolds, Alice learns not only who she has become, but how and why she’s changed so dramatically.  She must figure out who Gina is, what has happened to her relationship with her sister, and why she and Nick have gone from happily married to fighting over everything, all the while trying to recapture her memories, and manage her busy life and children.

There’s also the story of Elisabeth, Alice’s sister, woven throughout the novel – told through letters to her therapist, as well as through letters that Frannie, Alice and Elisabeth’s grandmother, writes.  While seemingly two different stories at first, they cleverly help expand upon the novel’s exploration of the way in which time, and our experiences fundamentally change our personalities, subtly, until we’re forever altered by them.

What’s lovely about this book, which appears from the start to be a light-hearted read, is that it develops slowly in depth as one reads it.  It lends itself to reflection on the reader’s part, all the while continuing to be an engaging, fun read, with equal parts drama and comedy.  The epilogue is one of the most eloquent I have read – wrapping up the story in a few beautifully written pages.  I look forward to reading more by this Australian author.”

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One Response to “What Alice Forgot by Liane Morarty”

  1. Katrina Says:

    Sounds good! I’m going to add this one to my list!

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