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What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
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What Alice Forgot

by Liane Moriarty

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1,3511285,697 (3.93)34
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    Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Told with humor, these two charming, character-driven novels share the stories of women who awaken from comas with amnesia, which has caused them to forget years of their lives. Faced with the unfamiliar, they must evaluate the choices they've made.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
Alice wakes up on the gym floor and has lost 10 years o0f her life. She thinks she is pregnant with her first child while in fact she has three school aged children and discovers she is in the middle of a divorce.201 ( )
  lindahallmann | Feb 3, 2016 |
This was alright. I'd read The Husband's Secret, and I thought this one was much better as it's dealing with a slightly smaller cast of characters. I liked "young" Alice from the off, and it was nice to be inside her head. The plot isn't terribly original but it putters along nicely and as I was reading this while I couldn't sleep, I wasn't in the mood for anything that was reinventing the wheel.

I think, for me, the key flaw was that we never really found out what the spark for Alice turning into a super-(obnoxious)-mum was. I understood that she changed over the course of having three children and doing the bulk of the heavy-lifting in terms of caring for them. I also understood that meeting Gina had an effect on her behaviour as regarded herself. However, I felt that none of this was really sufficiently explored. It's strongly implied and I think actually outright stated that Alice's behaviour around about the time of the birth of her third child is not much different from her behaviour as "young" Alice, and I can't see why the thing in the above spoiler would turn her into some kind of crazy obsessive mother. It's unclear how long her completely insane and unhealthy behaviour has been going on and why she would change from being a seemingly normal but flawed mother into a weird Stepford nightmare. I mean, Nick seems like a bit of a dick, but I kind of couldn't blame him for a lot of the stuff she cited as a problem. Like, why was he supposed to dump Mike as a friend after he cheated? Don't most people understand that when you're friends with someone and your spouse is also friends with them, and then you split up, the other person might feel a bit awkward? Like, Mike didn't do anything wrong to Nick. You can disagree with someone's actions and still be their friend! Also, regarding Gina's funeral - if Alice wanted him there so badly, why didn't she just put on her big girl pants and TELL HIM THAT?! She explicitly makes him feel like he shouldn't want to go, and then blames it on him. Similarly, Nick seems to go from a normal guy to a career nut with no explanation. Nothing in the way his character is explained to begin with indicates that he has any interest at all in his own career, then, BOOM, he's a CEO or something. What?! Alice is genuinely one of the most frustrating characters I've ever come across, and the worst of it is that I don't even understand how she became that way.

Regarding the ending it was rushed. I really didn't enjoy the way she gets all of her memories back, and, once again, I didn't really feel like it was necessarily a positive. Alice just seems like a horrible person to be around, and Gina also seems like a miserable, petty, irritant. I just disliked everything about "now" Alice, and I think my least favourite part was how Alice actually seemed proud of becoming a miserable spoilt bratty cow. I could go on and on and on about how, apart from Gina dying, none of her problems are actual problems that couldn't be solved without her TALKING ABOUT THEM IN A REASONABLE MANNER. Alice is just so much kinder, more understanding, more empathetic in her younger form. She hasn't learned anything over those ten years except how to be an awful human being and the worst thing is that she takes it out on her children. She is a genuinely awful mother.

On the children I really sympathised with Madison. She's bratty, yeah, but unlike her mother, she's a child and she's gone through a lot. I hated that Alice made her favouritism towards her other children, in particular Olivia, so clear. At least Madison seems real, even if she is annoying. The middle child might as well not be there for all the attention that gets paid to him - oh, he has dialogue, but god forbid anyone do anything but quickly acknowledge him and move on. Olivia is sickening and I wish she hadn't been in the book because every word out of her mouth made me want to vomit.

But I can't end this review without talking about Elisabeth. Oh, Elisabeth. I wish this novel had been about you. Yes, you were bratty and ill-tempered, and possibly moderately mad, but I Felt everything you felt, and understood everything that you were going through, despite never having been there myself. Your pain was so visceral and real and I couldn't have been happier when you got the ending you deserved; although in some ways I think the braver narrative choice would have been to have her remain infertile, I couldn't begrudge the only real-seeming adult character happiness.

No more Liane Moriarty for me, which is a shame, because she can write. It's just a pity the vast majority of her characters are completely vacuous and insufferable. ( )
  thebookmagpie | Jan 30, 2016 |
This was alright. I'd read The Husband's Secret, and I thought this one was much better as it's dealing with a slightly smaller cast of characters. I liked "young" Alice from the off, and it was nice to be inside her head. The plot isn't terribly original but it putters along nicely and as I was reading this while I couldn't sleep, I wasn't in the mood for anything that was reinventing the wheel.

I think, for me, the key flaw was that we never really found out what the spark for Alice turning into a super-(obnoxious)-mum was. I understood that she changed over the course of having three children and doing the bulk of the heavy-lifting in terms of caring for them. I also understood that meeting Gina had an effect on her behaviour as regarded herself. However, I felt that none of this was really sufficiently explored. It's strongly implied and I think actually outright stated that Alice's behaviour around about the time of the birth of her third child is not much different from her behaviour as "young" Alice, and I can't see why the thing in the above spoiler would turn her into some kind of crazy obsessive mother. It's unclear how long her completely insane and unhealthy behaviour has been going on and why she would change from being a seemingly normal but flawed mother into a weird Stepford nightmare. I mean, Nick seems like a bit of a dick, but I kind of couldn't blame him for a lot of the stuff she cited as a problem. Like, why was he supposed to dump Mike as a friend after he cheated? Don't most people understand that when you're friends with someone and your spouse is also friends with them, and then you split up, the other person might feel a bit awkward? Like, Mike didn't do anything wrong to Nick. You can disagree with someone's actions and still be their friend! Also, regarding Gina's funeral - if Alice wanted him there so badly, why didn't she just put on her big girl pants and TELL HIM THAT?! She explicitly makes him feel like he shouldn't want to go, and then blames it on him. Similarly, Nick seems to go from a normal guy to a career nut with no explanation. Nothing in the way his character is explained to begin with indicates that he has any interest at all in his own career, then, BOOM, he's a CEO or something. What?! Alice is genuinely one of the most frustrating characters I've ever come across, and the worst of it is that I don't even understand how she became that way.

Regarding the ending it was rushed. I really didn't enjoy the way she gets all of her memories back, and, once again, I didn't really feel like it was necessarily a positive. Alice just seems like a horrible person to be around, and Gina also seems like a miserable, petty, irritant. I just disliked everything about "now" Alice, and I think my least favourite part was how Alice actually seemed proud of becoming a miserable spoilt bratty cow. I could go on and on and on about how, apart from Gina dying, none of her problems are actual problems that couldn't be solved without her TALKING ABOUT THEM IN A REASONABLE MANNER. Alice is just so much kinder, more understanding, more empathetic in her younger form. She hasn't learned anything over those ten years except how to be an awful human being and the worst thing is that she takes it out on her children. She is a genuinely awful mother.

On the children I really sympathised with Madison. She's bratty, yeah, but unlike her mother, she's a child and she's gone through a lot. I hated that Alice made her favouritism towards her other children, in particular Olivia, so clear. At least Madison seems real, even if she is annoying. The middle child might as well not be there for all the attention that gets paid to him - oh, he has dialogue, but god forbid anyone do anything but quickly acknowledge him and move on. Olivia is sickening and I wish she hadn't been in the book because every word out of her mouth made me want to vomit.

But I can't end this review without talking about Elisabeth. Oh, Elisabeth. I wish this novel had been about you. Yes, you were bratty and ill-tempered, and possibly moderately mad, but I Felt everything you felt, and understood everything that you were going through, despite never having been there myself. Your pain was so visceral and real and I couldn't have been happier when you got the ending you deserved; although in some ways I think the braver narrative choice would have been to have her remain infertile, I couldn't begrudge the only real-seeming adult character happiness.

No more Liane Moriarty for me, which is a shame, because she can write. It's just a pity the vast majority of her characters are completely vacuous and insufferable. ( )
  hoegbottom | Jan 30, 2016 |
Read for Highams Park book club Sept 2014
Alice falls at the gym and loses the last ten years of her memories. So she believes she is happily married to Nick and pregnant with their first child. In fact, she and Nice are about to divorce and she has three children- none of whom she has any memory of at all. The book is told in the third person by a very confused Alice and is interspersed with diary entries of her sister Elisabeth who keeps losing her babies.
The story is really interesting as you find out at the same time as Alice what has happened in her life. it is also really interesting to see her personality as it was ten years ago and you get hints as to how much she has changed in this time - although of course she doesn;t realise it. So she has friends she doesn't like, does things like going to the gym obsessively and is a control freak and forces her children to do tam sports and so on. Alice doesn;t recognise the person she has become. She also want to reconcile with Nick but discovers she has a new boyfriend. She also can't understand why her sister has changed so much.
This was an interesting book that really makes you think. However I really didn;t like the granny blog entries that were in the book - added nothing really. The end was too "neat" - moving forward ten years or so and everything is all finished off nicely which was a bit boring. Also it lacked a bit of a major twist or unexpected event - it just kept going with the one idea. I also don't think we really discovered why Alice had changed so much in terms of her personality. HOwever it was well written and very readable, and an intriguing idea for a story tat really made me think. ( )
  AHouseOfBooks | Jan 27, 2016 |
Alice hurt her head by falling during a spinning exercise class and “lost” ten years of her life. She remembers her life from before the beginning of the ten year empty period. She tries to rationalize that with what she is seeing in her present awakened state. Using occasional snippets of memory that infrequently and unpredictably appear along with clever questioning of present day friends, Alice attempts to rebuild her life while pursuing lost memories.

She has a lot of resources from which to draw. They span at least four generations. “Grandma” (not biological) Frannie writes a daily journal to her dead fiancée about her observations of Alice’s reconstructive attempts while also providing the reader with useful historical information. Mother Barb, a committed salsa dancer married to Nick’s father provides comic relief and a never-to-late view of life. Husband Nick, boyfriend Dominic and sister Elizabeth join with Alice to interact across the present generation. Then there are Alice’s three children who give a fourth generation depth to the book. Although the central point is the missing Alice years, all these characters have their own problems in the present and the past. Many want to reassess their role in Alice’s new life. They also might have the ability to start over vis-à-vis Alice and repair past mistakes.

Moriarty is fun to read as an artist. I think she sets up fun things for the reader to do as she tells incredibly complex, entertaining tales. In The Husband’s Secret I looked forward to figuring out the relationships of the Berlin Wall, hot cross buns, and Tupperware. The reappearing, Where’s Waldo like icon that appeared in this book was “custard” and words that look like custard.

I will read more Moriarty books and recommend them to my literary appreciation classes.
( )
  ajarn7086 | Jan 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
Twenty-nine-year-old Alice Love is pregnant with her first child, adores her husband, Nick, and has never set foot inside a spinning studio. Thirty-nine-year-old Alice Love suffers a sudden fall in her Friday spin class, wakes up with a splitting headache, and finds out she has three children and is in the middle of custody proceedings. Without any concrete memories of the past 10 years, Alice tries to figure out how her free-spirited 29-year-old self became a volunteer-coordinating, spin-class-attending 39-year-old woman. What Alice Forgot is an often funny, sometimes heartrending, deeply personal portrait of a woman attempting to unravel her own mystery.
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She was floating, arms outspread, water lapping her body, breathing in a summery fragrance of salt and coconut.
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Early love is exciting and exhilarating. It's light and bubbly. Anyone can love like that. But love after three children, after separation and near divorce - after you've hurt each other and forgiven each other, bored each other, after you've seen the worst and the best - well that sort of love is ineffable. It deserves its own word.
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Alice Love, having woken up on the gym floor and been rushed to the hospital with a head injury, believes she is twenty-nine, expecting her first baby, and madly in love with her husband, but, after realizing she has forgotten ten years of her life and is actually thirty-nine, she is forced to try and piece together what occurred over the past decade to result in her marriage and life not being as she had hoped it would be.
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Suffering an accident that causes her to forget the last ten years of her life, Alice is astonished to discover that she is thirty-nine years old, a mother of three children, and in the midst of an acrimonious divorce from a man she dearly loves.

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