31 May 2009

What Alice Forgot

by Liane Moriarty

Pan Macmillan Australia. Australian, Adult Other. Paperback rrp $32.99

When Alice Love opens her eyes after a beautiful dream, she finds she is in unfamiliar surroundings with people she does not know. Something is wrong.

It sure is. What is Alice doing in a gym? She hates any form of exercise. And why is a work acquaintance fussing around like she is her best friend? Alice never really liked the woman! Then she finds out she has had a fall during a step class. What’s a “step” class? Alice immediately panics, she is 15 weeks pregnant. Will the baby be OK?

And so Alice’s life starts again. Alice thinks it is 1998, that she is 29, married to wonderful husband Nick and pregnant with their first child. But Alice finds out it is actually 2008, she is nearing her 40th birthday, has three children and is in the process of divorcing the man she thought she would live with until they were old and grey.

Alice has lost ten years of her memories. And over the next few weeks she realises she doesn’t like what she has become. Alice’s laid back hippy attitude has gone. In its place is a woman who is addicted to caffeine and is super fit and skinny, running her house and life in a regimental fashion.

And on top of that is the Giant Lemon Meringue Pie mother’s day record in memory of her best friend Gina. Who is Gina? And why does everything come back to a woman that Alice cannot even remember meeting? Including the reason for her divorcing Nick.

Over the following weeks, Alice must confront her present, remember her past and do everything she can to get back to the way she thought how her life would pan out.

What Alice Forgot is a thought provoking read. I often wondered what would I be like if I lost 10 years of my memories? Would I love to forget the horrible pain of child birth but then feel cheated not seeing my children’s first steps, first words, first day of school? Would it be great to start afresh and meet people “again” for the first time or miss the good times already shared with these same people.

I highly recommend this book to anyone asking the question … “What if only I had …”

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