I decided to pick up this book after seeing a list on Buzzfeed about what books to read before the movies are released in 2015.
The movie trailer looked good, so I figured I’d give the book a shot since we all that the books are always better than the movie. Let me tell you that after reading this book, I have some high expectation for the movie. In plain English, this book was a great start to the New Year and it will be hard to beat this book for my favorite of 2015.
Alice Howland is a Harvard professor of Psychology. She has had some huge accomplishments in her 50 years of life including published research, famous lectures, and three grown children. Alice begins having memory problems and on a routine run she is unable to find her way home. Alice sets off to the doctor and it is found that she has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Through this book we go through Alice’s journey of the inevitable memory loss and distortion of reality. Alice tells us about her disease progression from her perspective, giving a painfully true view of her disease through her own eyes.
I loved this book. I was captivated by the intro:
“Even then, more than a year earlier, there were neurons in her had, 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.”
Alice was a phenomenal narrator of her life and the devastation of her disease. She would talk about not being able to follow the conversation, but tell the readers what the conversation was about. I loved the relationship progression with her children and how they stood up for her rights when her husband John, did not want to respect them. From the first page I did not like her husband.
It could just be me demonizing him for how he treated Alice through the book, especially when he disregarded her desires about not moving, but I think John was getting a little piece on the side….if you know what I mean. The ending was perfect for this novel and it really opened my eyes about this disease from the view of patient.
Lisa Genova knocked my expectations out of the ballpark. I can’t rave enough about this book, but I think anyone that has an older (or even younger) person that they love or know anyone that has struggled with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease would appreciate this book. I read it in 3 hours after opening to the first page and will be reading this one again. It has been constantly on my mind, which in my opinion is one of the first signs of a perfect book.