Reading time 2 mins

Still Alice was one of those amazing books that make you think and appreciate life. In this story we meet Alice, a successful linguist and Harvard instructor, who gets Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. The story is told through Alice’s eyes so we get to see her daily struggles to come to grips with her diagnosis, and the effect it has on the people around her.

Review: STILL ALICE by Lisa GenovaStill Alice by Lisa Genova
Published by Simon and Schuster on December 29th 2009
Pages: 384
Genres: Fiction, General, Literary, Contemporary Women
Paperback provided by My Wallet (purchased)

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In Lisa Genova’s extraordinary New York Times bestselling novel, an accomplished woman slowly loses her thoughts and memories to Alzheimer’s disease—only to discover that each day brings a new way of living and loving. Now a major motion picture starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, and Kristen Stewart!

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 it’s like to literally lose your mind...

Reminiscent of A Beautiful Mind, Ordinary People, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Still Alice packs a powerful emotional punch and marks the arrival of a strong new voice in fiction.

True story: I saw the trailer for this movie and knew I had to read the book. I started reading this book yesterday, and here I am writing the review. This was an amazing story. I have always been fascinated by Alzheimer’s Disease. The author did a lot of research and she was able to express the frustration and heartbreak of this mental illness.

In Alice’s POV we see her going about her busy routine of lectures, trying to make time for her husband, supporting her children as they start their own families, and then dealing with the diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s. I was riveted by the daily struggles with memory and routine. Alice is written so well, it hard to imagine what it would be like. I think the author was able to capture the frustration for Alice and her family.

On a more personal note, I have to admit that I didn’t cry reading this book. I teared up when I saw the movie (found it on YouTube today), but it wasn’t a depressing book. For me it was so eye opening to the struggle for the person battling the illness. I know it very well from the family/caregiver perspective, but this was a completely fresh perspective on this mental illness.

Still Alice is a story I will be thinking about for a long time. It was really good, but it left some lingering questions. I am still unsure if the husband decided to stay or move. I don’t know if Lydia ever got her wish. These questions didn’t take too much away from my enjoyment of the story, but I hate loose ends.

My Rating


About Lisa Genova

Lisa Genova graduated valedictorian, summa cum laude from Bates College with a degree in Biopsychology and has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels Still Alice, Left Neglected, Love Anthony, and Inside the O’Briens.
Still Alice has spent 59 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. It won the 2008 Bronte Prize and the 2011 Bexley Book of the Year, and it was nominated for the 2010 Indies Choice Debut Book of the Year by the American Booksellers Association. It was the #6 Top Book Group Favorite of 2009 by Reading Group Choices, a 2009 Barnes & Noble Discover Pick, a 2009 Indie Next pick, a 2009 Borders Book Club Pick, and a 2009 Target Book Club pick. There are over 2.6 million copies in print, and it has been translated into 36 languages. It was chosen as one of the thirty titles for World Book Night 2013.
Left Neglected , also a New York Times bestseller, was the #1 Indie Next Pick for January 2011, the Borders “Book You’ll Love” for January 2011, and the #4 Indie Reading Group Pick for summer 2011. Left Neglected was chosen by the Richard and Judy bookclub in the UK.
Lisa’s third New York Times bestselling novel, Love Anthony was an October 2012 Indie Next pick and a People Magazine Great Read. USA Today calls it “beautifully written and poignant to the point of heartbreak.”
Lisa’s fourth novel, Inside the O'Briens, about a family living with Huntington’s Disease was published April 7, 2015. An instant bestseller on its first week, it became the #1 hardcover fiction title in Canada and #12 on the New York Times bestseller list. "An unsparing, heart-piercing portrait…compelling…enlightening." -Washington Post. "A gut-wrenching and memorable read." -Library Journal, starred review.
Speaking about the neurological diseases and disorders she writes about, Lisa has appeared on the Today Show, Dr. Oz, the Diane Rehm Show, CNN, Chronicle, Fox News, and Canada AM and was featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary film, TO NOT FADE AWAY.

As far as the movie goes, I thought it was very good. Julianne Moore was brilliant in her portrayal of someone battling this mental illness. I know some people don’t like Kristen Stewart as an actress, but I think she did an amazing job in this movie.

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