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Still Alice (2007)

by Lisa Genova

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6,4294501,493 (4.23)388
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.… (more)
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English (431)  Dutch (7)  Finnish (3)  Catalan (2)  Latvian (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (446)
Showing 1-5 of 431 (next | show all)
Ӕ
  AnkaraLibrary | Feb 23, 2024 |
OMG, this book. The relationships, the reality of it all. It's been ages since I shed tears from a book. Such raw emotion and so well written. Please read this book. ( )
  cmpeters | Feb 2, 2024 |
A short novel that explores alzheimers from the one suffering. A story that is complex in characters. It was both heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. An excellent book that I simply did not want to finish reading. ( )
  wvlibrarydude | Jan 14, 2024 |
"Still Alice" is a beautifully written, heartbreaking novel about the devastating affect Alzheimer's has on its victims and their families. Author Lisa Genova's choice of Alice - young, in shape, and intelligent (she's a Psychiatry Professor at Harvard) - shows that Alzheimer's can strike anyone, not just the elderly. The book is written from Alice's viewpoint, but Genova does a good job of showing the affect of Alzheimer's not only on Alice, but how her family (John, and their children - Anna, Tom, and Lydia) struggle with the changes in Alice. Genova does an excellent job of describing what is going on in Alice's head as the dementia increases. In fact, Genova does such a good job that I sometimes forgot the book was fiction and not about a real person.

"Still Alice" takes place over a relatively short period of time (September 2002 to September 2005) and it is frightening how fast the Alzheimer's takes over Alice. Genova skillfully captures the bewilderment Alice feels and there are some moments in the book that are very moving - especially a moment involving a black rug and a moment involving a message a healthier Alice left for a sicker Alice. The reaction of Alice's family as they deal not only with her having Alzheimer's but the fact that her children may inherit the disease is very realistic. Inevitably, of course, life goes on and Genova expertly shows Alice's family as they move on with their lives, even if readers won't always agree with their actions. If I have any quibble with the book, it's that it is one chapter too long - the second to last chapter ended on a poignant note and I think Genova should have stopped the book there.

"Still Alice" is a moving tale about the devastating affect Alzheimer's can have on a family. ( )
  b00kdarling87 | Jan 7, 2024 |
Alice sempre foi uma mulher de certezas. Professora e pesquisadora bem-sucedida, não havia referência bibliográfica que não guardasse de cor. Alice sempre acreditou que poderia estar no controle, mas nada é para sempre. Perto dos cinqüenta anos, Alice Howland começa a esquecer. No início, coisas sem importância, até que ela se perde na volta para casa. Estresse, provavelmente, talvez a menopausa; nada que um médico não dê jeito. Mas não é o que acontece, ironicamente, a professora com a memória mais afiada de Harvard é diagnosticada com um caso precoce de mal de Alzheimer, uma doença degenerativa incurável. Poucas certezas aguardam Alice. Ela terá que se reinventar a cada dia, abrir mão do controle, aprender a se deixar cuidar e conviver com uma única certeza - a de que não será mais a mesma. Enquanto tenta aprender a lidar com as dificuldades, Alice começa a enxergar a si própria, o marido, os filhos e o mundo de forma diferente. Um sorriso, a voz, o toque, a calma que a presença de alguém transmite podem devolver uma lembrança mesmo que por instantes, e ainda que não saiba quem é.
  EdilsonLopesSilva | Jan 3, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 431 (next | show all)
When looking for a publisher for this story, Genova was often told that it would only appeal to the Alzheimer's community. So, she self-published and self-marketed. Word of mouth spread about the universal appeal of Still Alice, and she gained an agent, a publisher, a top-10 spot on The New York Times and Globe and Mail bestseller lists, and some high praise for her compassionate page-turner. It's well deserved.
 
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Epigraph
Even then, more than a year earlier, there were neurons in her head, not far from her ears, that were being strangled to death, too quietly for her to hear them. Some would argue that things were going so insidiously wrong that the neurons themselves initiated events that would lead to their own destruction. Whether it was molecular murder or cellular suicide, they were unable to warn her of what was happening before they died.
The well-being if a neuron depends on its ability to communicate with other neurons. Studies have shown that electrical and chemical stimulation from both a neuron's inputs and its targets support vital cellular processes. Neurons unable to connect effectively with other neurons atrophy. Useless, an abandoned neuron will die.
Dedication
In Memory of Angie
For Alena
First words
Alice sat at her desk in their bedroom distracted by the sounds of John racing though each of the rooms on the first floor.
Quotations
Even then, more than a year earlier, there were neurons in her head, not far from her ears, that were being strangled to death, too quietly for her to hear them. Some would argue that things were going so insidiously wrong that the neurons themselves initiated events that would lead to their own destruction. Whether it was molecular murder or cellular suicide, they were unable to warn her of what was happening before they died.
The beginning of spring in Cambridge was an untrustworthy and ugly liar.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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