Sunday, May 27, 2012

Still Alice [Review]

234 pages [Kindle]
Published 7 July 2007

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she's a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life - and her relationship with her family and world - forever.

My Thoughts:
Overall, I think this is a must-read. It's a very heartbreaking story and it's told from the viewpoint of the person suffering from Alzheimer's. You really get a grip on how it affects the person suffering from the disease, instead of just a loved one or friend seeing it from the outside.

My opinions on the characters:

Alice: I had a bit of trouble connecting with her as a mom at first. She is very against Lydia's acting career, whereas John is very for it. She seems very consumed with her career. When she thinks about her daughter, Anna, having kids, she thinks of how it will screw up her career. Later she talks about how her colleagues are like a family to her. It seems like a combination of lack of family and passion for her work that leads her to this way of thinking.

John: He really annoyed me for most of the book. Genova wrote a lot about him messing with his wedding band. I honestly was surprised he stuck around - I thought for sure he would duck out. He was in denial and I think that is a normal response, but the lack of support was frustrating. Like Alice said, "I have Alzheimer's Disease. What's your fucking excuse?"

Anna: I was frustrated with her at first too. She seems very childish and self-absorbed until she becomes a mom herself. When her mother first reveals she has Alzheimer's and she had a 50% chance of also getting it, she immediately thought of herself. But once the twins came, she did a lot of taking care of her mom and seemed like a really solid backbone, unlike her father.

Lydia: She was the first to notice the signs, maybe even before Alice did herself. Once the Alzheimer's really started to deteriorate what made Alice "Alice" - Lydia really stepped up. She helped her mom remember, she engaged her mom in conversations and complimented her skills that Alice didn't even know she had, Lydia really was the strongest source of support for Alice and helped her to cope with the disease.

As for the story:

I was really irritated with John. He seemed to want to learn how to fix Alice and not accept that there was no solution. He didn't go to support groups. He didn't give her moral support. He was very selfish. He led on that he knew about "Butterfly" towards the end and I think he knew what she was doing in her room that day. I wonder if he stopped it and why he would do that, if he was so against doing anything that would benefit her. Other people were so much more supportive, like Dan for example. When she went to his commencement, he gave her this huge meaningful thank you and then gave her an envelope with it written down so she could read it whenever she wanted to.

Previous Review:
Delirium by Lauren Oliver {here}

Clamhouse Book Club Pick for May 

[Counts toward my TBR Pile challenge: here]

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1 comment:

Wiz said...

I havent read this but its on my to read list. I feel like I will probably think of Pat Summitt the whole time I am reading it :(