Author: Lisa Genova
Date published: July 6th, 2007
Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children and a house on the Cape, is a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career when she notices a forgetfulness creeping into her life. As confusion starts to cloud her thinking and her memory begins to fail her, she receives a devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Fiercely independent, Alice struggles to maintain her lifestyle and live in the moment, even as her sense of self is being stripped away. In turns heartbreaking, inspiring and terrifying, Still Alice captures in remarkable detail what’s it’s like to literally lose your mind…
I really want to say this is a five-star book, ( because it would be ) if five stars even came close to describing what this book is about ( it doesn’t ).
This book is so wildly different from what I’ve ever read before and shockingly eye-opening. I’ve never had anyone in my family deal with Alzheimer’s disease before, nor have I ever known anything about it else than what the average person does, so I never really thought about it, and what it means to have it at any age, 60 and above, but also 60 and below.
In Still Alice, Alice Howland, a Harvard professor, faces what is to her the end of everything; Her professional career, her marriage, her identity, her purpose, her life. What made this book so poignant is the first person point-of-view. No one tells you what’s going wrong: you figure it out yourself, you get to be right in her head, and you analyze her thoughts and notice a chain of events snowballing to a dreaded outcome, and it feels like solving a mystery or looking for easter eggs, except that it breaks your heart all along, of course, and shocks you quite a few times. I just wanted to reach in the story, desperately trying to magically make it all stop, because you’re, like, literally watching a tragedy.
I absolutely love how the family dynamics were so real ! Like, how how, quite often, parents don’t approve of their children’s choices in life ; what to pursue, what to study, what college to attend and whether to attend college or not. It’s one more detail that adds flesh to the characters. Also how Alzheimer’s is not something only the affected are facing; their families, their neighbors and friends are also involved; the shockwave gets to them, too.
This book is also a message to everyone that Alzheimer’s patients are going through something no one else can imagine. The worst thing I can ever imagine happening to me, or to anyone, is not being able to even trust your own judgement. When I think about it, it blows my mind.
Apparently, they made this book into a series ??? And I didn’t even know until I finished it ??? I really want to watch it now…