Sunday, August 07, 2022

Sunday Synopsis: What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty


What Alice ForgotWhat Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Imagine hitting your head at the gym, and when you "come to" you've misplaced ten years of your life. That is what happens to Alice. She wakes up thinking she is 29, about to have her first baby, madly in love with her husband, and content. It's inconceivable to think she is actually 39, separated from her husband, leader of events at the children's school which includes speaking to groups (which she is afraid to do) and organizing events such as baking the largest lemon meringue pie in the world. She is even the type of person who works out at a gym! And she has THREE children, not just the one she was pregnant with where her memory left off.

Her relationships aren't what she remembers. Her mom is married to Nick's dad. Nick has moved out and speaks to her like he hates her. She is apparently dating the pricipal of her children's school. And she can't remember what happened to her friend Gina. Even her BFF and sister Elisabeth seems angry at her. Who did she become?

That will become clear as she begins to live her life once again. Younger Alice despised organizing and schedules, but in the years between her first born and now, she's become more extraverted and organized. She was always shy but certainly isn't anymore. She is busy all the time! This shows that people often change during their adult lives.

The story is told in third person, and in typical Liane Moriarty fashion. There are alternating chapters from different characters. In Alice's chapters, since she has lost ten years of her life, we learn more about her and Nick when she got together and how they lived their marriage before things apparently became bitter. In Elisabeth's chapters, we mostly see her writing for her therapist. She is struggling with having a child, has had many miscarriages, and is angry at the world as well as her own family for not being supportive enough. In Frannie's chapters, she is writing letters to Phil, and you learn who he is as you read further.

Many of the characters are likable, which makes it easier to read. And with an omniscient point-of-view, you get to see what some of the other characters are thinking, not just the main character.

Another blogger believes that the theme is that youth is a perception. I see this in a different way. I see it as a comment on life.  We should not take anything for granted because things can change both over time and in an instant.  Either way, this is a pretty good book.

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