What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

I was pretty intrigued by What Alice Forgot when I read the synopsis. It has a lot going for it. One day Alice is happily married and expecting her first child, the next, she is 10 years older, is a mother of three, and is in the process of getting a divorce and is dating again. However, once I started working my way through the book, I was somewhat disappointed.

(Source: Kelsey Darling)
Pretty much, Alice is 39 and is at the gym getting her bike workout when she passes out, bangs her head, and forgets the last 10 years of her life and believes she is 29 again.

(Source: Giphy)
The book is told from a couple different points of view, which usually doesn't bother me, but one of the POV's is Alice's sister, Elisabeth, as she writes to her psychologist. You learn a little bit about what Alice has forgotten about the last 10 years, but it focuses on her dealing with infertility and the fact that she low-key kidnapped a baby the week before Alice lost her memory. But the build up to finding out about the kidnapping and the "issues" between Alice and Elisabeth leaves you wanting more. *Queue sad slide whistle.*

(Source: Google Image)
Another POV is Frannie's letters to Phil. It's pretty easy to tell that Phil is no longer around, but you don't learn until pretty much the end why. In summation, Frannie and Alice cannot let go of people. They could probably benefit from Elisabeth's psychologist.

I definitely understand how going from 29 to 39 is a bit unsettling. But 39 year old Alice acting like a 29 year old was irritating. Even for a 29 year old, she seems a bit immature. She's giddy and childish and does not understand how her and her husband, Nick, could have fallen out of love.

"That word-'divorce'-was so ugly; her lips pursed together like a fish on the second syllable. Dee-vorce. No. Not them. Never, ever them...

'Did we have a really bad argument about something?' Alice asked Elisabeth. She would get to the bottom of it, she would put a stop to it...

'It was mind-boggling; she tried to visualize how it could actually happen, Nick throwing stuff into a suitcase, slamming the door behind him, a yellow taxicab waiting outside-it would have to be yellow, like an American cab, because this could not be real, this was a scene from a movie with a heart-wrenching soundtrack. This was not her life." (pp. 84-85)

She spends the entire book not believing anything anyone has to tell her about how unhappy she was in her marriage and how it had spilled over into their kids life. I understand how it would be difficult to "wake up" in the middle of that, but even when Nick tells her that they weren't happy any longer, she can't believe they fell out of love.

(Source: Giphy)
She also acts like a child at the prospect that other men are interested in her. Upon finding a note from a Michael Boyle that says "Alice, We're all settled and doing OK. I think of you often and 'happier times.' Call anytime. M. xxx," (p. 47) she becomes extremely fluster and thinks him presumptuous. She finds herself repulsed by her new boyfriend Domminick and the fact that she has had sex with a man who is not Nick. It's like the idea that anyone can find her attractive, or that she can find another man attractive, is a form of cheating and she needs to be punished to the utmost degree.

The one part that I do like: Alice and Nick to end up back together, after she gets her memory back and remembers the trials of the last ten years. Her memory loss made them both realize the parts of themselves they had held back in their marriage after the kids came into the picture. They never really did stop loving each other, but she had relied on her friend, Gina, for support and good times, and Nick, feeling jealous of this bond he had lost with his wife, buried himself in work. I would have been completely disappointed if they hadn't, but this was the books one saving grace.

(Source: Giphy)
Rating: 3/10
Genres: Fictions, Women's Literature, Contemporary


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