Still Alice was a book club selection. A friend had given it to me but it was collecting dust until a few days before the meeting. I picked it up with the intention to get a bit read before the meeting and ended up reading it in less then two days. Surprising, as I had a lot of running around and wasn’t home much. I may be a fast reader but this was quick for me.
The cover to the left is the one before the movie. I didn’t see it but talked with some of the women at the club meeting who had, They said the movie was different then the book with the biggest difference being that in the book it is told in Alice’s POV (point of view) while the movie was more in the other characters view. Lisa Genova did a really great job of letting us see this dreadful condition from the inside. Most books depict Alzheimer’s from the family and caregivers POV.
It’s fiction but I had to keep reminding myself as it was like stepping into Alice’s character. Scary. At one point I went out to do some things in the yard. When I got to the little shed and opened the door I had one of those moments. “What did I come out here for.” Surreal.
I can’t write a better synopsis then the one Ms. Genova had done so will instead include it for you.
Alice Howland is proud of the life she has worked so hard to build. A Harvard professor, she has a successful husband and three grown children. When Alice begins to grow forgetful at first she just dismisses it, but when she gets lost in her own neighborhood she realizes that something is terribly wrong. Alice finds herself in the rapid downward spiral of Alzheimer’s disease. She is only 50 years old.
While Alice once placed her worth and identity in her celebrated and respected academic life, now she must re-evaluate her relationship with her husband, her expectations of her children and her ideas about herself and her place in the world.
Losing her yesterdays, her short-term memory hanging on by a couple of frayed threads, she is living in the moment, living for each day. But she is still Alice.
This book was life changing for me and I hope those changes stay. I know people with Alzheimer’s and I found myself listening and interacting differently the other day. I like this in myself so may have to consider a re-read from time to time.