Book Review: What Alice Forgot

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What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. Reviewed by Louise Hilton.

Australian author Liane Moriarty’s latest novel What Alice Forgot is an engaging read about a woman named Alice who hits her head at the gym only to wake up with no memory of the last ten years of her life.  All she remembers is being twenty-nine, happily married to her sweet husband Nick, and pregnant with her first child.  She is now approaching forty, the mother of three children, and in the midst of an ugly divorce. Alice has become someone she does not recognize, the kind of woman she always vowed never to be: high-strung, overbearing, and, well, not very nice.

I found myself turning the pages anxious to see just what would happen if and when Alice’s memory finally returned.  Moriarty succeeds in making the readers care deeply about Alice and her dilemma as well as the host of colorful characters around her, from her older sister Elisabeth whose struggles with infertility have profoundly marked her to their mother Barb who, last Alice remembers, was a meek wallflower and is now a fishnet-wearing salsa instructor!

The novel asks the age-old question: What if?  What if you had the chance to do over your past?  Would you make the same decisions?  Though this is not the first book to deal with amnesia, what sets it apart is the interesting setting of Sydney, Australia, and the appealing characters.  According to author Luanne Rice, the book’s “magical confusion” is “reminiscent of another Alice and her wonderland.”  I highly recommend What Alice Forgot for those looking for a light read that at the same time makes you think about your life and whether you are making the right choices.

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