Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Published in: 2007
Reviewed by: Book Worm
My first 5 star read of 2020 and it’s one I think everyone read because knowledge is power.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children and a house on the Cape, is a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career when she notices a forgetfulness creeping into her life. As confusion starts to cloud her thinking and her memory begins to fail her, she receives a devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Fiercely independent, Alice struggles to maintain her lifestyle and live in the moment, even as her sense of self is being stripped away. In turns heartbreaking, inspiring and terrifying, Still Alice captures in remarkable detail what’s it’s like to literally lose your mind…
Book Worm’s Thoughts: If I had to write a one word review it would be “Devastating”. Devastating because that is what Alzheimer’s disease is and what is does not only to the person suffering but to all those who love them as well.
My Grandads stepmother had Alzheimer’s disease and although I was too young to have met her, the stories my grandparents would tell about how she was nearly thrown out of her nursing home for brawling with another patient over a “stolen” ring are accurately reflected within this book, as are several other shared family memories. While reading this I was thinking “this reminds me of the stories Nan and Grandad use to tell.”
At the end of my edition of this book the author explains that she wanted to write an authentic account of Alzheimer’s disease from the point of view of the sufferer and in order to do that she spent a lot of time talking with and really listening to real people diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s disease. Reading this book you can really see how this research paid off Alice and her family feel completely real and needless to say this book did make me cry at several points.
Who would like this? This is a tough read and not one I would say I liked what I did do was appreciate it. Everyone should read this book to have a better understanding of what other people could be going through. Knowledge is power and better yet this book teaches the reader that compassion and acceptance are really important.
We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think?
I’ve read it … twice. Listened to the audio in April 2013, and read the text to refresh my memory before my F2F book club meeting in August 2013. My mother died of Alzeimer’s in 2014. To say it was a tough read barely begins to describe it (and I’m crying again now, just thinking about it), but it was SOOOOoooo worth reading.
Here’s an excerpt from my review that describes one episode from my experience:
Several years ago my brothers and I arranged a celebration for our parents’ 60th wedding anniversary at the assisted living facility where they then lived. Mother was still mobile and speaking (though not making much sense). She enjoyed the music and the food and the celebration. Several of her long-time friends came. One, Maria, approached me when she arrived and asked if my mother still recognized me. I said yes – but I realized suddenly that this was the first visit where she had failed to call me by the pet name she’d always used for me. Just before Maria left the party, she came up to me again and said, “Your mother recognizes love.”
The scene at the end of this book reminded me of Maria’s words of wisdom: She may not recognize you, but she recognizes love.
You can read my full review on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/600556481
I have read this book and I loved it. 5 stars for me too. I have been meaning to read more from this author. The movie is good too.