What Alice Forgot Review - Amnesia is the Ultimate Relationship Cure
by Liane Moriarty
Published in 2009
As everyone should know by now, I love Liane Moriarty. I love her books and all things drama. What Alice Forgot would turn out to be no different in all the best ways. I found What Alice Forgot at Barnes & Noble and within the first chapter, I was hooked! What would you do if you woke up and forgot everything from the past 10 years? I need a drink just thinking about it.
What Alice Forgot begins with Alice Love at a spinning class when she faints and is brought to the hospital. 29 and pregnant, Alice is waiting for her husband, Nick, to arrive only to discover… she is actually 39 with 3 kids and in the midst of a divorce and custody battle! Yes, some good old fashioned amnesia. Her sister Elisabeth, who she was always close to, is now distant as she explains that she has been having difficulty getting pregnant and miscarrying with Alice being too busy to offer some support. Alice is horrified to hear of the type of person she has grown up to be. Alice is soon thrown into motherhood with her three children which she finds overwhelming considering she can’t remember who they are and all they want is their mom back. She tries reaching out to Nick for help but he’s hesitant to trust her thinking this may be a ploy to help her in the upcoming custody battle.
Alice starts experiencing flashbacks of her life such as one of a woman named Gina that no one wants to talk to her about which makes her think she may have had an affair with Nick. Soon, she realizes that Gina was actually her best friend who had passed away. She also learns that Gina is the reason for her separation from Nick and her sister Elisabeth. Alice begins realizing that even though she can’t fix the past and the kind of person she has been, she can change herself moving forward to be a better person. She also begins rebuilding her relationship with her children as she realizes how wonderful they truly are. Elisabeth continues spiraling into depression due to her miscarriages and for once, Alice decides to be there for her. With their relationship now repaired, Elisabeth is able to overcome her depression and get pregnant. All of Alice’s memories hit her like a truck and decides that this might be too much history to try and rekindle things with Nick. However, after getting her life back on track years later down the road she and Nick reconcile and have a happy life together.
Final Rating & Thoughts: 9/10
I honestly loved this book! I love Liane Moriarty - I can’t say this enough. I would say her books are definitely a guilty pleasure of mine! The best thing about What Alice Forgot is that they just throw you right into the story so it’s like you get to view everything through Alice’s eyes. One second, she’s working out, and the next - BOOM - she can’t remember a thing and must start from scratch just like the readers. I think what’s interesting about this is that we automatically assume that Elisabeth is being a bitch to her for no reason and that Nick is being a jerk for no reason and slowly as Alice recovers her memories, we all realize that she was the one who was being rude in the first place. It’s hard to justify or still decide not to like Alice because she is so relatable so even as we uncover her negative memories, we love her all the more because we realize that she is only human.
I also really enjoyed the different characters in the book and their interactions with Alice, especially knowing that in their eyes they have 10 years worth of memories that Alice doesn’t have. It’s clear that they all want to forgive and trust her but they just can’t erase their view of her so suddenly. I also really liked that the memories were very fragmented so we didn’t get everything all at once until the end. The pace of the book works really well because by the end of the book, you can’t stop turning the page as Alice finally remembers all her memories. I also was relieved to see Alice rekindle her romance with Nick because we get to see the many beautiful memories they had together before things started to go south. This is another perfect summer read that can just be gobbled up in an afternoon by the pool. This is a book that I would love to see turned into a TV show the way Big Little Lies was!