What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

what alice forgot
First published in 2010 and reissued in January 2014 by Penguin.

“Alice is twenty-nine. She adores sleep, chocolate, and her ramshackle new house. She’s newly engaged to the wonderful Nick and is pregnant with her first baby.

There’s just one problem. All of that was ten years ago . . . 

Alice has slipped in a step-aerobics class, hit her head and lost a decade. Now she’s a grown-up, bossy mother of three in the middle of a nasty divorce and her beloved sister Elisabeth isn’t speaking to her. This is her life but not as she knows it. 

Clearly Alice has made some terrible mistakes. Just how much can happen in a decade? 

Can she ever get back to the woman she used to be?”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for sending me this book to read and give an honest review.  I really enjoyed The Husband’s Secret (review here) by the same author so I was looking forward to finding out where this book would take me.

The first chapter set the scene well, Alice was in a dream-like state which was clearly due to her accident.  What followed was fascinating for me, I couldn’t even begin to imagine how confusing it would be to lose so many years of memories but the author captured her emotions so well that I began to understand just how Alice was feeling.  Her confusion shone through in such a believable way that I found myself as curious about her life as she was!

Alongside the main story of Alice’s memory loss was a couple of interesting features: Elizabeth’s homework for Dr Hodges – a fascinating and emotional insight into Elizabeth’s fertility problems (Elizabeth was Alice’s sister), and Grandma’s Blog – blog entries that detailed ‘Grandma Frannie’s’ issues and dilemmas with plenty of humorous comments.  I thought that these additions gave the book an honest feel and made it even more relatable.

As random memories began returning to Alice I started to put the pieces of the puzzle together but there were still quite a few things that I couldn’t work out, the biggest question being ‘who is Gina?’. The writing was so good that I became utterly involved in finding out exactly what had happened in Alice’s life to make her behave so differently and when all was finally revealed I felt a huge sense of relief.

The epilogue was great and, I have to admit, restored my faith in the storyline because towards the end I was starting to worry that things wouldn’t end how I had hoped!

This was a gripping, emotional and sometimes funny read.  Liane Moriarty is fast becoming one of my favourites.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

Liane Moriarty is the bestselling author of five novels, Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist’s Love Story and most recently The Husband’s Secret, as well as the Space Brigade series for children.

She lives in Sydney with her husband and son.

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The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

The husbands secret
Published by Penguin in August 2013.

“Mother of three and wife of John-Paul, Cecilia discovers an old envelope in the attic. Written in her husband’s hand, it says: to be opened only in the event of my death.

Curious, she opens it – and time stops.

John-Paul’s letter confesses to a terrible mistake which, if revealed, would wreck their family as well as the lives of others.

Cecilia – betrayed, angry and distraught – wants to do the right thing, but right for who? If she protects her family by staying silent, the truth will worm through her heart. But if she reveals her husband’s secret, she will hurt those she loves most . . .”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for sending me this book to read and give an honest review.

It jumped straight into the action with Cecilia trying to decide whether or not she should open the letter that was clearly written by her husband, this created a mysterious atmosphere and made me want to know more.  When Felicity, Tess and Will were introduced followed by Rachel, Lauren, Rob and Jacob I couldn’t quite figure out where all these characters fit into the storyline or how each group of people connected with each other.  Gradually, however, I began to see links forming and everything started to make sense. Glances back to 1984 gave me even more insight into the situation and the puzzle pieces continued to join together.

There was more than one mystery running through the storyline and this kept me on my toes trying to guess what the secrets were. I got to the point where I had a pretty good idea of what the mysterious letter contained so when the big reveal came I wasn’t too shocked.  The aftermath of that reveal was written in a way that felt so genuine, it was like I was there alongside the characters and feeling their emotions too.

I loved how the author raised the issue of social anxiety because this was something that I haven’t found in other books.  It is a subject very close to me and I felt that the author tackled it with perfect accuracy, feeling, and the kind of detail that makes you nod your head with understanding.

The tension built throughout and I got the feeling that it was all leading to a significant, possibly dramatic, moment.  Well goodness me was I correct!  What actually happened was not something I had foreseen but it was certainly dramatic and carried a clear significance to previous events.

The whole book was beautifully written but the epilogue in particular really stood out for me, it was so thought-provoking and left me contemplating life’s decisions.

This was a touching read that was thought-provoking and utterly addictive.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

Website | Blog | Facebook

BUY THE BOOK

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