Sunday, April 26, 2015

Still Alice

Book: Still Alice
Author: Lisa Genova

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life--and her relationship with her family and the world--forever.

At once beautiful and terrifying, Still Alice is a moving and vivid depiction of life with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease that is as compelling as A Beautiful Mind and as unforgettable as Judith Guest's Ordinary People.-Goodreads

Review: Still Alice, a story about a professor who has early onset Alzheimer's disease, was extremely moving. I laughed, I cried and I was terrified (I actually considered getting a genetic screening after finishing it). My heart broke for Alice, her husband and children. I was especially moved by the relationship between Alice and her youngest daughter, Lydia. Their relationship changes drastically from the beginning of the book toward the end, and I love this conversation they have:

"You're so beautiful," said Alice. "I'm so afraid of looking at you and not knowing who you are."
"I think that even if you don't know who I am someday, you'll still know that I love you."
"What if I see you, and I don't know that you're my daughter, and I don't know that you love me?"
"Then, I'll tell you that I do, and you'll believe me." 
   Alice liked that. But will I always love her? Does my love for her reside in my head or my heart? The scientist in her believed that emotion resulted from complex limbic brain circuitry, circuitry that was for her, at this very moment, trapped in the trenches of a battle in which there would be no survivors. The mother in her believed that the love she had for her daughter was safe from the mayhem in her mind, because it lived in her heart. 

A fantastic read. Highly recommended. 

Grade: 5/5 

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