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.

Website | Blog | Facebook

BUY THE BOOK

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Into the Unknown – Sarah J. Blake

“Rachel wakes up in hospital after a near fatal car crash with no recollection of the past year. It soon becomes apparent that her once normal life had spiralled out of control leading up to the crash but her nearest and dearest are not forthcoming with why.

With a family secret, corruption and an accusation against her of fraud over a £2million painting, will Rachel ever find the truth behind not only her accident but what happened to her once normal life before it’s too late?”

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

It took me a little while to get into it but once I did I really enjoyed the storyline, it was intriguing and kept me guessing.  Rachel had been in a car accident and upon waking she discovered that her last memory was of a year ago!  I have read a few books based on this kind of idea but they were mostly romance orientated, obviously there’s nothing wrong with that because as you’ve probably already guessed I love romance books, but I actually found this quite refreshing because it was more of a mystery type book.

There was plenty of humour throughout and it was my definitely my kind of humour – I smiled to myself quite a few times as I could relate to things that Rachel said or did (a fear of spiders and complaints about the electronic signing thingys to name just a couple).

The book had such a mysterious feel to it, I was constantly coming up with theories for what was going on and just waiting for all the pieces of the puzzle to fit together.  Rachel’s friends and family seemed very evasive when she first started asking them questions and this just piqued my curiosity even more.

Rachel and her friends were likeable characters and I found myself relating to them all in different ways, this made me feel like I knew them personally and so I was as keen as Rachel to find out what the big secret was.

There were lots of surprises at the end, most of which I hadn’t been expecting and I was relieved to finally discover the truth about everything!

For me the only negative about this book would be the typing errors, there were quite a lot of them which is a shame because I really enjoyed the storyline.

This was an intriguing read that kept me guessing until the end.

Into the Unknown can be purchased from Amazon UK or Amazon US.

To find out more about Sarah J. Blake visit her Twitter page here.

Here – Ella James

“Milo Mitchell’s life used to be charmed, but that was before her family dissolved, she went a little crazy, and her best friends started acting more like strangers. Spending Saturday morning in a treehouse with a stun gun for company and a herd of deer for friends is the only exciting thing in her life…until she shoots a fawn and finds her dart stuck in a guy.

Her gorgeous victim is dressed in a Brioni tux and armed with a hanky. He has no idea who or where he is. Afraid her dart caused his amnesia, Milo takes him in, names him Nick, and vows to help him solve his mystery. Soon the pair find Nick’s face in a newspaper obituary, and Nick begins to have strange, ethereal memories of Milo–who is sure she’s never met him. Suddenly Nick knows things he shouldn’t know and is doing things he shouldn’t do. When the Department of Defense shows up, Nick and Milo run–toward a shocking conclusion that could destroy both their worlds.”

I got this eBook when it was available as a free download from Amazon (current price £1.94).

I felt confused at the very beginning of this story and I wasn’t really sure what was going on,  the only thing I could figure out was that Milo and her friends were having a sleepover.

When Milo went out tagging deer in the woods I began to follow the story more easily and I soon became hooked!  The main turning point for me was when she somehow managed to shoot a boy with her dart instead of a deer, I had all sorts of explanations running through my mind at this moment and I couldn’t wait to find out what really happened.

The story switched between Milo and the mystery boy’s point of view, when told by the boy (who Milo named Nick) I could feel his confusion jumping out of the page at me.  His knowledge of the world frightened him but not knowing who he was and, more importantly, who his family was frightened him even more.  This was what made the book so intriguing and different for me, my mind was racing off in so many directions especially when I began to realise that he already knew Milo somehow.

Nick was carrying a whistle in his pocket when Milo found him and I couldn’t figure out how or where it fit into the story, near the end, however, it all became clear and it turned out that it was a very important item!

I enjoyed the fancy dress party that Milo and Nick attended, I felt that it was the first time that Milo really accepted that she had feelings for Nick.  A major event at the party also made Nick realise that he was going through more than just amnesia and this was a big turning point for him.

As the plot thickened and my eagerness to find out the truth grew, things became incredibly tense and action-packed.  Everything began to unravel in a sci-fi kind of way and I found myself holding my breath as the story took me in a completely different direction to what I had first thought.

The cliffhanger ending means that I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in the trilogy!

This one day read was so imaginative and different to anything I’ve read before.

To find out more about Ella James visit her blog here

Blank Slate Kate – Heather Wardell

“Waking up with a strange man is scary. Realizing you lost fifteen years of your life overnight? That’s terrifying. With her memories from seventeen to thirty-two gone, Kate has no idea who she is and where she belongs. As she begins to fall for the man who found her, she wonders if she forgot those years for a reason. Should she keep trying to retrieve her original self, or start a new life?” 

I bought this book from iBooks after reading a review on Books to Remember, it seemed like the kind of story I would enjoy and it certainly was!

The story jumps straight in to the action which meant I was hooked from the very first page, it was a struggle just to stop reading for the school run.  There are so many questions in the story that I needed (yes, needed) to get the answers to so I had to keep on reading until I found out.

I love the idea for the story and although I’ve read other stories based on amnesia I didn’t feel it was a case of ‘once you’ve read one, you’ve read them all’ because this seemed very different.  For a start it includes the very serious topic of depression, something that made me feel sad for Kate but it was written in such a way that it didn’t overtake everything else in the story.

As I always do when I’m reading I made predictions about how things would turn out, usually I am pretty good at it but this book well and truly beat me – it ended up completely different to how I thought it would, I actually gasped out loud at one of the revelations towards the end of the story and my husband thought something had really happened (when will he learn??).

This was such an enjoyable read, one that I just didn’t want to end.  I look forward to reading it again with fresh eyes now that I know all the secrets and will definitely be reading more from Heather Wardell.