Book Review: What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Title: What Alice Forgot
Author: Liane Moriarty
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books, Putnam
ISBN: 9780399157189
Genre: Literary Fiction
Pages: 423
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5

29-year old Alice thinks she has it all. A great marriage, a pregnancy on the way, a great relationship with her sister Elisabeth and everything that a woman can ever hope for. If only that were the case for her, then this book would turn out very differently. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty begins on this note, and shocks the reader. Alice is 39 years of age. Her marriage is falling apart. She has three children. Her relationship with her sister is not what she thought it is. She has forgotten ten years of her life. Thus begins this novel.

The 39 year old Alice obviously then turns out be very different from the 29 year old one she thought herself to be. Something had gone wrong in Alice’s life to let her reach this stage of her life, where nothing makes sense. All of this comes to surface, however not as quickly as one would expect. What I liked was how it was revealed to the reader: Through flashes of memory that Alice has. It was cleverly done by Liane.

The book is written in the third person and it is required then for such a story. There are also parts from Alice’s point of view which is much needed when the story is based on the protagonist. Then there are Elisabeth’s parts which are in the form of a journal. This got me a bit confused, however once I got the hang of it, I was fine.

The premise of the book is definitely racy, and at the same time it manages to slow down when needed. Alice is charming, likeable and also funny at times, and yet Liane Moriarty does not turn this to a beach read, which could have easily been the case. The book also is suspenseful but in the right doses. It does not frustrate the reader. And before you know it, there is also infertility as a sub-plot, which took me by surprise and further added to the story.

All in all for me, What Alice Forgot was a great read this year. A lot is happening in this book and it isn’t easy to start with, however the book unravels itself beautifully for the reader not to get lost. The novel made me at least evaluate my life – looking back and seeing what I had and what I have now. The personal element is required from every book I think. In some way or the other. I would definitely recommend this book to one and all.


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