Thursday, 15 January 2015

Book Review: What Alice Forgot By Liane Moriarty

If you're looking for a fantastically easy to read summer novel and one that's not only well written, funny and engaging then I suggest you stop what you are doing and head to pick up What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. This is the first novel of Moriarty's, an Australian author, that I have had the pleasure of reading and I can't wait to check out more of what she has to offer. So, onto the good stuff!

Alice has an accident at the gym one afternoon and after rather seriously hurting her head, has lost all memory of the past ten years of her life. In fact she thinks that the year is 1998 and that she is turning 30 and is pregnant with her first child to her husband Nick. In actual fact it's 2008, Alice has three children and is in the midst of a bitter divorce and custody battle with her husband.

For the first week after her accident Alice is like a stranger in her own life. She can't remember the births of any of her children or even who they are or how to behave like the suburban yummy mummy everyone is telling her she was. As Alice starts to piece together clues about who she has become over the last ten years she discovers how much she has changed as a person. In some ways 'new Alice' (as she refers to her almost-40 year old self) has changed for the better - she's developed a backbone, likes to exercise, is organised and volunteers regularly for her children's school. On the other hand she doesn't like any of new Alice's friends, has become bitter towards her husband and is forcing her children into all kinds of extra school curricular activities that they hate.

As glimmers of Alice's memory begin to filter back to her Alice has to decide whether her new found perspective is enough to change the relationships that once mattered to her. What Alice Forgot is a reminder that sometimes people can get onto the wrong paths in life but it's never too late to go back.

Liane Moriarty has such a way with writing characters, that even the supporting cast of this book felt like they were well fleshed out - her sister, husband, mum, stepdad and children allow us to glimpse parts of what Alice's life had become. There is a great deal of humour to this book that I really enjoyed peppered with enough heartache in the characters stories to offer a deeper connection.


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