When Alice Love falls down in spin class and hits her head, everything in her life is seemingly turned upside down. For once she is in hospital, she realizes that a large chunk of her life is missing…kaput.
Memory is a strange thing. Sometimes it is distorted, and it definitely is different for people living the same moments. What Alice Forgot reminds us that perspective is a large part of memory, and each person’s reality is different.
Finding those lost ten years that she has forgotten, supposedly due to that blow on the head, Alice also rediscovers who she is. Is she the person she was at 29…or at 39? Or is she a better version of herself because of the experience?
Meanwhile, what a great ride this story was for me. I loved how I found myself right in the middle of Alice’s world, rooting for her and for the lost connections in her life. At times I couldn’t stand her three children, especially Madison, who seemed unusually annoying. And Nick was not a favorite of mine either. But as the pieces began to slowly come together and the last ten years were filled in, it was possible to understand everything that had happened to them and how it all changed.
I loved the part of the story where Alice philosophizes about how it is very easy to love in the beginning of a relationship, when everything is light and bubbly, but that anyone can love like that. The kind of love that has gone through things and moved beyond them is a special kind of love that “deserves its own word.”
Another part of the story I enjoyed was Alice’s sister Elizabeth’s journey to motherhood. Infertility and those struggles seem to define her. Her perspective is revealed through letters she writes to her therapist.
And Frannie, the grandmother-surrogate who was there for Elizabeth and Alice as children is sharing stories of her life through letters she writes to her fiance Phil. We learn more about him later….
Beautifully wrought characters that felt so real they earned our love, our hatred, our annoyance…just like people we have known and loved to hate. Five stars.