Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

On a plane flying back to DC from Charlotte, the passenger sitting next to me and I started talking about books.

She recommended Still Alice by Lisa Genova, and I downloaded it and read it.

This is one of those books where the characters will stay with the reader long after the book is finished.

This is a fictional book, but Lisa makes the characters seem like people whom we know personally.

Alice and her husband, John, are both fifty year old Harvard professors who are thriving in their careers, and they have three, successful, grown children. Alice starts to forget things like how to get back home after a jog, and she is diagnosed with the early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Lisa takes the reader through all of the stages of the disease with Alice. Eventually, Alice is no longer able to teach, read, have coherent conversations, remember her husband or children, dress herself etc. Alice's changes take a toll on her entire family. Her husband has to decide if he should take the job of his dreams in New York with no family around to help with Alice or stay in Boston where his family lives so that they can help him to take care of Alice.......

This book made me think about times when I have forgetten students' name, when I have gone into the kitchen and have forgotten what I had gone into the kitchen for, and times when I have forgotten other things. I was starting to feel a little paranoid, but I know that I am okay.

There were times during the book when Alice wished that she had been diagnosed with cancer because at least she could fight and maybe win. With Alzheimer's right now, the dreaded, complete memory lost is inevitable......

I absolutely love the characters and Lisa's writing style which helps the readers to understand Alzheimer's.

Read this book that really tugs at the heart....

Lisa Genova

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