Still Alice by Lisa Genova
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What is the Book About?
‘Still Alice’ tells the story of Alice who discovers that at just 50 years of age she has Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease (EOAD). The story, told from Alice’s perspective, follows the progress of the disease and how it affects her life, how she copes (or not) and how it affects those around her.
What I particularly liked about the book
There was a natural flow to the book so that you are easily taken along for the journey with Alice, although it must be said that the journey whilst easy to read is challenging and sad. In particular, the first half of the book absorbed me to the extent that as I went about my day-to-day routines I kept wondering how Alice would deal with this or that. Or put another way, how these day to day activities would be affected if I suffered with this devastating progressive disease.
On at least two occasions I was brought to tears with the poignancy of the scenes. At other times I was confused by what I was reading, but then realised that I was seeing the world through Alice’s confused perspective. Whilst this was indeed confusing, it only added to my understanding of the difficulties Alice was attempting to negotiate.
Was there anything I disliked about the book?
It took me a little while to understand the pace of the book and at times I felt that Alice’s condition had jumped ahead and that I’d missed something. However, my understanding of Alzheimer’s is minimal so it’s difficult for me to say whether this was a realistic timescale for the progression of the disease or not.
Overall I found this book compelling and read it over just two days, which is something I haven’t done in a long time! Alice and I share some similarities which might suggest why I found the book so enjoyable. For example, we are a similar age, we have children of broadly the same age and we have a similar career philosophy (although I’m not a professor!). Also, and importantly, I have a fear of succumbing to a degenerative disease of this nature, so maybe I was drawn to the content?
As you can see from the book cover, the book has also been made into a film ‘Still Alice‘ starring Julianne Moore. My next stop is therefore to watch the video!