Margin Notes: Still Alice

Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Alice Howland—Harvard professor, gifted researcher, and lecturer, wife, and mother of three grown children—sets out for a run and soon realizes she has no idea how to find her way home. She has taken the route for years, but nothing looks familiar. She is utterly lost. Medical consults reveal early-onset Alzheimer's.

Alice slowly but inevitably loses memory and connection with reality, as 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. Genova's debut shows the disease progression through the reactions of others, as Alice does, so readers feel what she feels: a slowly building terror.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a book I had on my 'to read' list for a long time, but there was something so sad and unappealing about reading about Alzheimer's from the patient's perspective that I always found something else to read. I'm so glad my book club chose this book because it was beautiful. An absolutely beautiful, emotional, rich story. I loved the family, the daughters, the son, the husband, the coworkers, the rival, the doctor, the student. They were all brought to life in a way that showed their flaws, their humanity, and their love for Alice. They helped paint an outsiders view of Alice, the victim of Alzheimer's. I can't recommend this book highly enough. I cried my way through it, but I think it's one that will stay with me for some time.

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They're turning Still Alice into a movie starring Julieanne Moore! I can't wait to see it. No trailer yet, but I'll post it when it comes about.


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