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Still Alice - Book Review

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by Susan Jackson (subscribe)
Gold Coast Explorer since Jan 2010. Always on the lookout for fun, family things to enjoy with my four kids.
Published October 17th 2012
Start questioning senior moments
Still Alice
Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Still Alice" is a compelling read. Author Lisa Genova writes from the perspective of Alice, a 50 year old psychology professor at Harvard. Beginning with moments of forgetting and confusion, the book follows her personal journey as she sinks into Alzheimer's disease. Through Alice's eyes we also witness her husband and children's reactions as they struggle to come to terms with Alice's condition.

So what is so captivating about this book? It is not a subject I know a great deal about and not one I would think to choose to take to bed each night. It gives a very accessible insight into the world of an Alzheimer's sufferer, told in such a way as to make it difficult to put down.

Alice, teacher, lecturer, researcher - efficient, independent, intellectually sharp and in control, suddenly finds her world changing and shrinking. Her ability to perform basic tasks diminishes as the book progresses. Imagine getting lost a few blocks from your office. Imagine struggling to remember your children's names. Imagine not being able to find the toilet in your own home. The reality is awful and yet the book is not a depressing read. The silver lining for me was witnessing her changing relationship with her youngest daughter, who she knows the least, yet who helps the most as things get worse. It follows the ability ,or often inability, of the family to handle the stress and Alice's perception of the people and events in her life. As her sense of self diminishes she wonders how to identify herself as she loses her Harvard life.

Alice could be your mother, your neighbour, your friend - you. Alice has early onset Alzheimer's. She is not an ageing grandparent where the level of forgetting seems more normal.

Watching her life, as if it were a picture, the colour fades first, finding black and white, then shades of grey and then, like an old photo, parts of the picture fade out completely. Read this book for the knowledge of what it is like to live with Alzheimer's. Read it if you know someone who is suffering. Read it to understand.
Still Alice
Author Lisa Genova


Beverly Beckham is quoted in the Boston Globe as saying:

" After I read "Still Alice", I wanted to stand up and tell a train full of strangers "You have to get this book".

I feel the same, so am telling you: " Read this book". Just make sure you set aside 3 days in which to be totally absorbed.
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Why? You won't be able to put this book down
Where: Find a quiet place to read
Your Comment
This was my mothers disease, she got alzheimers, where the mild forgetting is slowly, making her ill
by E_her (score: 0|8) 1951 days ago
How amazing. My mother died last year with Alzheimer's. Her name was Alice.
by nutho (score: 0|6) 1947 days ago
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