Book review – Still Alice

I usually just add the books I have read to my Have Read page and write maybe one sentence and add my rating but this book really moved me.

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Still Alice – Lisa Genova

I disagree with the last two sentences in the review below. I thought that the story told from a person with Alzheimer’s perspective was very well written. However it was a heart wrenching story. I read it on the plane home from Cancun and had a hard time not crying my eyes out. I had to keep wiping the tears away.

It was a fast read but as I said it really made an impression on me. Read it especially if you know someone who suffers from this horrible condition.

Synopsis

Genova gives us a hauntingly accurate portrayal of a young woman’s descent into Alzheimer’s Disease from the prime of life and the loftiest of cerebral heights.

Publishers Weekly

Neuroscientist and debut novelist Genova mines years of experience in her field to craft a realistic portrait of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Alice Howland has a career not unlike Genova’s-she’s an esteemed psychology professor at Harvard, living a comfortable life in Cambridge with her husband, John, arguing about the usual (making quality time together, their daughter’s move to L.A.) when the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s begin to emerge. First, Alice can’t find her Blackberry, then she becomes hopelessly disoriented in her own town. Alice is shocked to be diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s (she had suspected a brain tumor or menopause), after which her life begins steadily to unravel. She loses track of rooms in her home, resigns from Harvard and eventually cannot recognize her own children. The brutal facts of Alzheimer’s are heartbreaking, and it’s impossible not to feel for Alice and her loved ones, but Genova’s prose style is clumsy and her dialogue heavy-handed. This novel will appeal to those dealing with the disease and may prove helpful, but beyond the heartbreaking record of illness there’s little here to remember.

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One Response

  1. Jackie,

    I work in an Assisted Living Facility with a 50 bed dementia specific unit. It is a beautiful place – both of the owner’s parents lived with dementia, and we work very hard to make our residents lives worthwhile after the initial diagnosis for as long as we can. I have gotten to know many, many residents afflicted with the disease, YOUNG and old.

    This book touched me more than any book I have read in a LONG, LONG time.

    I read it last year while I was in Isla, away from my friends at work. My husband came into the room at one point when tears were streaming down my face and said…..oh my gosh!! read something else already!!

    The tears were good, though. This was an excellent book and it was amazing how she put it together from the viewpoint of the dementia sufferer.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts….and by the way, I disagree with the reviewer as well. It was a well written, thoughtful account and very worth my time to read.

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