Still Alice – Lisa Genova

From Goodreads: “Genova’s debut revolves around Alice Howland – Harvard professor, gifted researcher and lecturer, wife, and mother of three grown children. One day, Alice sets out for a run and soon realizes she has no idea how to find her way home. It’s a route she has taken for years, but nothing looks familiar. She is utterly lost. Is her forgetfulness the result of menopausal symptoms? A ministroke? A neurological cancer? After a few doctors’ appointments and medical tests, Alice has her diagnosis, and it’s a shocker — she has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

What follows is the story of Alice’s slow but inevitable loss of memory and connection with reality, told from her perspective. She gradually loses the ability to follow a conversational thread, the story line of a book, or to recall information she heard just moments before. To Genova’s great credit, readers learn of the progression of Alice’s disease through the reactions of others, as Alice does, so they feel what she feels — a slowly building terror”

Not knowing much about the subject matter, I wasn’t sure this book would appeal to me. After reading many great reviews on it, I thought I’d give it a shot. I am glad I did. Lisa Genova takes a difficult subject and brings life to it through the main character – Alice Howland. Alice is diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s disease. Reading this novel shed light on the matter and opened up a whole new world to me. I felt for Alice, anger at the disease and annoyance towards her family who were unable to instantly cope. But Alice’s strong independance helped her cope as best she could under the circumstances. This book, written more like a memoir of Alzheimer’s, was a wonderful piece of literature. I walked away with a new understanding of the disease and the people who suffer from it.

Rating – 5/5

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