Saturday, February 21, 2009

STILL ALICE

Author: Lisa Genova
Genre: Fiction, Standalone
Published: 2009
Personal Rating: 4.75/5
Yearly Count: 25



Alice Howland is a psychology professor at Harvard, wife and mother. Alice starts to experience episodes of forgetfulness and finally makes an appointment to see a doctor. Eventually, Alice is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. The narrator is Alice, herself.

Whoa. What a powerful novel. Alice is real. Real as any of us could be. Even though, this is not a memoir, it is based on detailed research and feels like the real deal. For me it was not a tear-jerker (however, I did have a few tears), but a heartbreaking story of a disease that strips away the real you.

Lisa Genova gives Alice an authentic, sincere voice and one that kept me glued to the pages as I experienced Alice's decline with her. I hope this is the closest I ever get to this disease, because I was painstakingly close.



Side Note: This book was originally self-published.

30 comments:

  1. I'd like to read this one even though I'm sure it will reduce me to a blithering idiot.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bermudaonion ~ :) It is very touching, but I honestly don't believe that it is meant to be a tear-jerker. Of course, there are times when it just can't be helped, but Genova does a fabulous job of giving Alice dignity and grace.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think it's an interesting choice to tell the story from the point of view of the person with Alzheimer's.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sounds both heartbreaking and frightening.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Alzheimer's is such an awful disease--sounds like a really powerful book and I'll definitely have to keep my eye open for it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've been wanting to pick this one up. My uncle has Alzheimer's--really advanced now---I just wonder if it wouldn't be too hard to read though.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I read this book a while ago and it made a huge impression on me.

    Alzheimer's is a dreadful disease - robbing a person of everything that makes them "them."

    ReplyDelete
  8. I LOVED this book - read it last year. It really helped me see exactly what it would be like for someone with Alzheimers and for their loved ones. I thought it was so well written.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow! This must be good to deserve such a high rating from you. I'm definitely going to have to give it a try.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Charley ~ Supposedly it's the only book of its kind. It was the perfect choice.

    Debi ~ Indeed, it is/was.

    Trish ~ It's a book I had a hard time putting down and wish I could still be reading it.

    Dar ~ It is a difficult read, but fascinating at the same time. Being that you actually know someone with the disease, it may be a tough one. On the other hand, it can give you some perspective of what your uncle has gone through.

    Lynne ~ I miss Alice. The author made her so real.

    Eileen ~ I agree whole-heartedly. The writing drew me in right from the start.

    Samantha.1020 ~ I've been reading some great books lately! Seven books have already made it to my "Best Reads" list for the year. Woo Hoo! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have this one on my review shelf to read. I admit to being hesitant to read it, given how close Alzheimer's has touched my life, but I will give it a try just the same. It's definitely not one I will recommend to my mother though. I don't think she could take it. Great review, Joy.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Amazon recommended this for me. Now I have an actual person telling me it's good. I don't think I've disagreed with you yet, so I will have to get my hands on a copy.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Someone is sending this to me and I can't wait for it to arrive, especially now that I see your high rating. You and I have really had a good start to 2009, haven't we? I don't think I've had a dud yet!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Literary Feline ~ I'm sorry to hear that Alzheimer's has touched your life. It really is a sad disease for all those involved. I think the only saving grace about it is that there is no physical pain.

    Framed ~ We do have a good track record, don't we? :)

    Les ~ Oh yes! I have really enjoyed my reading thus far. Usually I have already mentally moved on to my next book, but Alice remains on my mind. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This has been on my wishlist and I am looking forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It sounds like a powerful book. I am impressed by your high rating Joy as I know that you have high standards. That says a lot!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've got this book here at home and have been thinking of picking it up at some point this year. I'll have to give myself a while longer I think. Dad has not been gone for too many months yet and I feel it may be too close for me until later.

    Alzheimers is truly a dreadful disease. So sorrowful for the victim and it makes victims of the entire family. My family is healing but it took a lot our of all of us. My heart goes out to any family that deals with this. My prayer is that a cure will come at some point.

    Thanks for the review, Joy.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I don't know if I can read a book about Alzheimer's disease at my age and with my diminished memory capacity. It is such a scary, horrible disease.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Really want to read this. My Father-in-law is about to have tests to see if this is his trouble.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It sounds like a really well-written book but I think I'll stear clear. I try to avoid these types of books, having gone through loosing a loved one to disease (not Alzheimers, though) I don't feel I need to read about it. Once experienced is one time too many for me.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Bonnie ~ The writing brought this family to life. I will definitely pick up her next book Left Neglected (current title). It's about an active, multitasking mother who takes her eyes off the road for a second too long and ends up with a traumatic brain injury. I don't know when it will be out.

    Kay ~ I'm sorry for your loss Kay. I know it was extremely difficult to experience. He's safe now. :) A cure - wouldn't that be wonderful?!

    Booklogged ~ Yes, it is. It does make you think about your own abilities and/or lack thereof.

    Zetor ~ I hope that whatever is disturbing him can be resolved easily. Peaceful thoughts are being sent your way.

    Nicola ~ I fully understand. Not having any knowledge, except for the basics, made this an educational book for me as well. At times it was difficult to experience Alice's frustration; however, Genova mastered her feelings with finesse.

    ReplyDelete
  21. This sounds like a good book,a little different from what I normally read, and looks a little similar to the Stone Angle. I think I may have to add it to my TBR list....if I can find the end of it. Great review.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Jules ~ It's a very touching and realistic book, very memoir-like. I can relate to trying to find the end of the TBR list! :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Sounds like it's very powerful, I'll have to take a look. Plus almost everything that gets close to 5 starts from you goes on my tbr list. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Joanna ~ If you get a chance to read it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Joy,
    I found your blog through Fyrefly's Wordpress site and the Book Blogs Search engine she put together. I just finished Still Alice this morning and posted my thoughts about it. I included a link to your blog on my post.
    Glad to have found you!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Staci ~ Welcome! Thanks so much for visiting. I'll be right over. :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Like you, I didn't find this to be a tearjerker. But I sure did find myself holding my breath, waiting for something really terrible to happen to Alice. I felt so bad for her on so many occasions and I think Lisa was so wise to choose to tell the story from the point-of-view of an Alzheimer's patient. It was as up close and personal as you'd ever get and it was so very believable.

    I can't stop thinking about this book, either. I may have to read it again later this year. As I said in my review, it's my #1 read of the year. I am so glad I read it.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Les ~ I agree, Alice telling her own story was brilliant. It's been over a month since I read it and she still hasn't left my thoughts totally. I'm questioning myself as to why I didn't give it a 5, but for whatever reason - I still consider it a winner!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Yours is the third good review I've read, and I do hope to read the book sometime soon. I mentioned in a comment on the owl's feathers review that there is a nonfiction book written by the man who is actually experiencing the disease - sort of like Alice, but a real person. It is called Losing My Mind by Thomas DeBaggio. I believe he wrote another one as well. I haven't read it but would like to do so.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Nan ~ Oh thanks, Nan! I'm taking note of that title.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. :)

I hope you have a great day and ...
Happy Reading!