Review: What Alice Forgot

What Alice Forgot
By Liane Moriarty
Berkley, 9780425247440, 2012, 496pp.

The Short of It:

Took some time for me to get into this one but once I was in, I was IN. Moriarty is a storytelling queen.

The Rest of It:

Alice faints during a spin class and upon waking, realizes that she’s lost ten years of memories. She doesn’t remember having children, or that she’s in the process of divorcing her husband Nick. She has no idea why she’s at the gym at all having shunned exercise for most of her life and how can she be 39 years old when she was 29 just a little while ago? One other thing that she can’t remember is the death of her best friend Gina, who played such a large role in Alice’s life.

The first quarter of the book was bordering on silly but was also humorous and entertaining. Alice’s realizations about life as those around her continue to fill in the gaps, got some giggles out of me but can you imagine not remembering your kids or your husband?

Memory-challenged Alice finds that she’s not all that likable. She’s lost friends, alienated her husband and grown apart from her sister. She was this driven, busy person who did all the things class moms do but in total excess. Now, as she looks around at things she can’t make sense of, she wonders why? Why is she getting a divorce? What went wrong?

This turned out to be a very touching story about a woman who is given a chance to turn things around. Plus, it’s not just about Alice, it’s about her sister Elisabeth and her family and how the past few years have created a lot of tension, but perhaps the damage can be repaired.

I really ended up liking What Alice Forgot. It’s not as dishy as Big Little Lies and it didn’t center around a suburb like Truly Madly Guilty, but it was sweetly sentimental and I was satisfied when I turned the last page. It’s been optioned for a movie, actually has been for some time but I don’t see any mention of it actually being in production.

Have you read it? It does give you some food for thought and the questions in the back of my copy confirmed for me that it would make a good discussion book too.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

10 thoughts on “Review: What Alice Forgot”

  1. I read this for my book group at one time and recall liking it. I do like when books have both a serious and fun side to them. This one had the added mystery element too – bonus. I just got an audio by the author called The Last Anniversary – it’s an older title – I haven’t started it yet but, I am curious.

    1. I saw another older title by Moriarty called The Chaperone. I wonder how her writing then, compares to now. She seems to really focus on domestic type stories now.

  2. I haven’t read this one, but have Truly Madly Guilty on my TBR shelf. My dance troupe had a guy in it who was in a car accident and lost ALL memory. It was really trippy, especially because the person he became wasn’t all that likable.

  3. I read this back in 2013 and thought it was terrific! I went on to read The Husband’s Secret and didn’t care for it at all, so I haven’t read any others by Moriarty. Another good book about memory loss is Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante. Soooo good!

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