What Alice Forgot
Liane Moriarty, 2010
Penguin Group USA
Alice Love is twenty-nine years old, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child.
So imagine her surprise when, after a fall, she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! she HATES the gym!) and discovers that she's actually thirty-nine, has three children, and is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce.
A knock on the head has misplaced ten years of her life, and Alice isn't sure she likes who she's become.
It turns out, though, that forgetting might be the most memorable thing that has ever happened to Alice. (From the publisher.)
• Birth—November 1966
• Where—Sydney, Australia
• Education—M.A., Macquarie University
• Currently—lives in Sydney
Liane Moriarty is an Australian author and sister of author Jaclyn Moriarty. In its review of her 2013 novel, The Husband's Secret, she was referred to as "an edgier, more provocative and bolder successor to Maeve Binchy" by Kirkus Reviews.
Moriarty began work in advertising and marketing at a legal publishing company. She then ran her own company for a while before taking work as a freelance advertising copywriter. In 2004, after obtaining a Master's degree at Macquarie University in Sydney her first novel Three Wishes, written as part of the degree, was published.
She is now the author of several other novels, including The Last Anniversary (2006) and What Alice Forgot (2010), The Hypnotist's Love Story (2011), and The Husband's Secret (2013). She is also the author of the Nicola Berry series for children.
Moriarty lives in Sydney with her husband and two children. (Adapted from Wikipedia. Retrieved 8/5/2013.)
This winning not-quite amnesia story parses what happens when Alice, a married mother of three whose marriage is disintegrating, takes a knock on the head and comes to thinking she is herself, but 10 years younger and in the middle of a blossoming young marriage, with her first child on the way. As younger Alice adjusts to her older life and body, she finds much to be surprised at: a wealthy lifestyle she never dreamed of, a rejuvenated mother with a surprising love interest, and a sister whose life has turned out unexpectedly disappointing. And everyone is so sorry for something that happened with her best friend Gina, whom she doesn't remember, but apparently who helped sow the seeds of her marriage's collapse. But as the young Alice takes over the older Alice's life and applies her goofy, laissez-faire approach to living, the tension builds: what will happen if old Alice regains her memory? Alice's journey of reconciling herself to how her life came to be what it is, and her slowly building understanding of how the threads of her marriage began to unravel, is moving, well-paced, and thoroughly pleasurable.
When Alice Love passes out at the gym and bonks her head, she wakes up with no memory of the past decade. It's a complete shock to her that she is thin, has three children, and is in the midst of a nasty divorce. She also has no idea why people don't want to talk to her about a mysterious woman named Gina, who was apparently her best friend. Moriarity makes this more than just a one-note story, weaving in a plotline involving Alice's childless sister. Deeper and much more serious than Sophie Kinsella's similarly themed Remember Me?, Moriarty's (Three Wishes; The Last Anniversary) intriguing story will keep readers guessing and curious to know more about Alice.
From Australian Moriarty (The Last Anniversary, 2006, etc.), domestic escapism about a woman whose temporary amnesia makes her re-examine what really matters to her.... Moriarty handles the two Alice consciousnesses with finesse and also delves into infertility issues through Elizabeth's diary. Cheerfully engaging.
1. Did you like the younger Alice best? Or did you relate more to the older Alice?
2. What would your younger self of ten years ago think of the person you are today?
3. What would surprise your younger self most about the life you're currently leading? What would disappoint you?
4. What would you think of your children? Are they how you imagined they would be? Are you the parent you envisioned? Why or why not?
5. Alice is shocked by many transformations—her gym-toned body, her clothes, her house. Are you more or less polished than you were a decade ago? And do you think there's any deeper significance to such change?
6. Do you think it was realistic that Alice ended up back with Nick? Were you happy with that ending? Do you think they would have ended up together if she hadn't lost her memory?
7. In order for Nick to be successful at his job, was it inevitable that he would spend less time with his family and thereby grow apart from Alice?
8. How did you feel about the sections written from the perspectives of Elisabeth and Frannie? Did they add to your enjoyment of the book, or would you have preferred to have it written entirely from Alice's point of view?
9. Do you think it was unavoidable that Elisabeth and Alice had grown apart, because of the tension caused by Elisabeth's infertility versus Alice's growing family? Or do you think their rift had more to do with the kind of people both of them had become?
10. It's not only Alice who changed over the last decade. Elisabeth changed, too. Do you think she would have been so accepting of the new Alice at the end if she herself didn't get pregnant?
11. Out of all the characters in the book, who do you think had changed the most over the past decade and why?
12. The film rights to the book have been sold to Fox 2000—who do you think would be good in the lead roles?
13. If you were to write a letter to your future self to be opened in ten years, what would you say?
(Questions issued by publisher.)
top of page (summary)
Site by BOOM
LitLovers © 2016