Tuesday, January 20, 2015


What Alice Forgot

Liane Moriarty

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.

So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes.

Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over.

I had always wanted to write a story about time travel but I found the logistics made my head explode. Then I read a story about a woman in the UK who lost her memory and behaved like a teenager – she didn’t recognise her husband or children. I realized that memory loss is a form of time travel. So I came up with the idea of a woman, Alice, who loses 10 years of her memory. She thinks she is 29, pregnant with her first child and blissfully in love with her husband. She is horrified to discover she is 39, with 3 children and in the middle of a terrible divorce. It’s like the younger Alice has travelled forward in time. Readers tell me that what they liked best about this novel was how it made them think about the choices they’d made and wonder how their younger selves would feel about the lives they are leading now. ~Liane Moriarty

Another one from my older stash.

I think you have to at least be a parent to appreciate this story fully. As parents, we have all had a point in life where it was all go, go, go. Alice Love is in the height of this point in lifewhen a fall during her Friday spin class turns her mind back 10 years to 1998.

In 1998, she is pregnant with her first baby and happily married. She and her husband are renovating their home and are still in the early years of their marriage. And they sleep. Oh, those lazy days before babies when you could sleep away the morning.

Fast forward to 2008 and she is one of those sleep-deprived, schedule-carrying, caffeine-driven mothers who is deeply involved in her children's school and community. Exercising, committees and a steady stream of activities replace her carefree days of sleeping and eating whatever she wanted.

Now her younger mind is struggling with her current life; I imagine it would be quite a shock to the system. As the last 10 years are only returning in bits and pieces, her life remains a puzzle and not one she is overly fond of and tries to fix it. Apparently, she's had a very bad year.

Young Alice and New Alice have completely different mindsets and both those ways of thinking begin to converge to help Alice find the peace and balance that were missing in 2008.

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