Review: Still Alice, Lisa Genova

November 9, 2014 Reviews 1 ★★★★★

Review: Still Alice, Lisa GenovaStill Alice by Lisa Genova
Published by Simon & Schuster on 2010
Genres: Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: 293
Source: Netgalley
Amazon • Amazon UK • Book Depository

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. A Harvard professor, she has a successful husband and three grown children. She soon finds herself in the rapidly downward spiral of Alzheimer's Disease. Her short-term memory may be hanging on by a couple of frayed threads, but she is still Alice.


I am a very emotional TV and movie viewer. If there is an advert about babies or love or puppies I am easily a goner – tears streaming down my face. This trait does not usually carry through to novels though. Yes, I am emotionally involved with the characters and their ups and downs, but it takes very special writing to reduce me to tears. I cried while reading Still Alice by Lisa Genova.

Alice Howland is a very successful and respected professor of psychology and linguistics at Harvard University. She leads a full and happy life with her scientist husband and three grown up children. But Alice is beginning to notice worrying changes. She forgets words, becomes disorientated in her own town and forgets about scheduled meetings and conferences. When she is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease her perfect world rapidly and irreversibly alters.

I couldn’t put this book down. Although it dealt with an awful and inevitable disease, it read like a thriller. Lisa Genova drew me into the Howland family, I felt as though I was on the journey with Alice. When she went for her memory test, I tested my own memory; when her thoughts further declined, I felt her despair; and in her moments of triumph, I felt emotional (teary) joy!

I could also see how difficult it was for Alice’s family (especially her husband) to watch her rapid decline. I empathise with anyone going through this, or who has a loved one with this disease.

The movie, starring Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart, will be released later this year. I have no doubt that I will be bawling like a baby throughout the 100 minutes.

This is a truly beautiful and life-affirming story. Read it.

five-stars – Powerful and moving

Natasha lives in Brisbane, Australia with her husband and son. She is a self confessed bibliophile who enjoys literature and adult fiction. She also loves travelling and aims to visit 40 countries by the time she is 40 (current count 36).

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