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Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
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Alice I Have Been (edition 2010)

by Melanie Benjamin

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1,0221128,311 (3.75)55
Member:nyiper
Title:Alice I Have Been
Authors:Melanie Benjamin
Info:Delacorte Press (2010), Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
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Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Blending fact and fiction, Alice I Have Been exists in a hazy dreamworld, weaving together bits of our world and another. Eerie and mysterious, this gothic novel is a must-read for Alice in Wonderland aficionados. Also recommended for Sarah Waters fans, for both content and style.
  kgriffith | Jul 27, 2014 |
I fell in love with Alice I Have Been straight away. Alice Liddell is the famed little girl who took a tumble down the rabbit hole. Benjamin has taken her life story and presented it in a fictional yet spellbinding way. Starting with Alice as a precocious seven year old who befriends a subtly sinister gentleman by the name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Everyone turns their heads to ignore the slightly inappropriate relationship Alice has with stuttering Mr. Dodgson. I found myself asking what was Benjamin's motive for so much alluding to impropriety? There is a lot of trembling that goes on...It whispers of pedophilia and the strange this is, Alice, even at seven, is perceptive to know something is amiss. However by age ten, almost eleven she is the instigator, asking Mr. Dodgson to "wait" for her, a statement that is accompanied by the proverbial wink and nod. Years later, Alice is rumored to be involved with Prince Leopold and her childhood relationship with Mr. Dodgson is all but a faded memory...until the Prince needs to ask his mum for her approval to marry Alice. It is then all of the allusions to impropriety make sense. Everything begins to make sense. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Apr 8, 2014 |
A weird historical fiction novel describing the life of Alice Liddell, Lewis Carroll's inspiration for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It weaves fact and fiction creating a disturbing tale. It led me to look up Lewis Carroll's photography, which is indeed disturbing, but it seems to be impossible to say whether or not he had improper relations with any of these girls, or if we're merely living in a different time. ( )
1 vote steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
This is an interesting fictional account of the life of Alice Liddell, the real-life "Alice" from "Alice in Wonderland". I was entranced by the writing and was drawn into Victorian London and Oxford University. There are many parts of this book that were uncomfortable to read, but I appreciated the realistic portrayal of various rumors swirling around the relationship between Alice & Lewis Carroll. Check it out, it's an absorbing, fast read. ( )
  debbie.menzel | Feb 6, 2014 |
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Dedication
To Nic, for leading me to the Rabbit Hole
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But oh my dear, I am tired of being Alice in Wonderland. Does it sound ungrateful? It is. Only I do get tired.
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Book description
Few works of literature are as universally beloved as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Now, in this spellbinding historical novel, we meet the young girl whose bright spirit sent her on an unforgettable trip down the rabbit hole–and the grown woman whose story is no less enthralling.

But oh my dear, I am tired of being Alice in Wonderland. Does it sound ungrateful?

Alice Liddell Hargreaves’s life has been a richly woven tapestry: As a young woman, wife, mother, and widow, she’s experienced intense passion, great privilege, and greater tragedy. But as she nears her eighty-first birthday, she knows that, to the world around her, she is and will always be only “Alice.” Her life was permanently dog-eared at one fateful moment in her tenth year–the golden summer day she urged a grown-up friend to write down one of his fanciful stories.

That story, a wild tale of rabbits, queens, and a precocious young child, becomes a sensation the world over. Its author, a shy, stuttering Oxford professor, does more than immortalize Alice–he changes her life forever. But even he cannot stop time, as much as he might like to. And as Alice’s childhood slips away, a peacetime of glittering balls and royal romances gives way to the urgent tide of war.

For Alice, the stakes could not be higher, for she is the mother of three grown sons, soldiers all. Yet even as she stands to lose everything she treasures, one part of her will always be the determined, undaunted Alice of the story, who discovered that life beyond the rabbit hole was an astonishing journey.

A love story and a literary mystery, Alice I Have Been brilliantly blends fact and fiction to capture the passionate spirit of a woman who was truly worthy of her fictional alter ego, in a world as captivating as the Wonderland only she could inspire.
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Now in her twilight years, Alice Liddell looks back on a remarkable life. From a pampered childhood in Oxford to difficult years as a widowed mother, Alice examines how she became who she is--and how she became immortalized as Alice in Wonderland.

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