What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Liane Moriarty is the chick-lit writer who can make me like chick-lit.
Bookshelves: chick-lit, suburbia, rom-com, aussie-writers
Suck-you-in premise. Alice wakes up one day after fainting while at the gym, wondering what the hell she was even doing at a gym, worried that her tumble off the stationary bike hurt the baby she’s carrying, needing the comfort and steadiness of her love-of-a-lifetime husband, Nick. Only problem is, she gave birth to the baby ten years ago, and she and Nick are in the throes of a knock-down-drag-out divorce and custody battle over all three of their kids – none of whom she can remember. And to add insult to injury, she’s not 29, but staring down the barrel of forty.
One little bump on the head and ten years of her life are gone. Poof. Amnesia is not quite as cool as daytime TV would have us think.
Alice’s journey as she tries to put all the pieces together is hilarious on one hand and heartbreaking on the other. Who are these miraculous and frustrating little beings she is told are her children? What happened with Nick? Who is this Gina woman? Has she already slept with this guy she’s apparently dating? Why do she and her sister barely speak anymore? Why does she have such a piece of work as a best friend? How does anyone find time for all these projects and committees? And what in God’s name was she doing in a gym?
I admit, I was rooting for Alice and Nick to remember all the wonderful things about each other that brought them together, to remember what’s important and that you have to work to hold on to love in the midst of making careers and raising children. At the same time I was fully prepared to be disgusted if Moriarty had tied things up with such a neat and facile bow.
Fortunately, she didn’t do that. Alice’s memory comes back. Not just the good stuff, but all the stuff. It’s true what they say, that you can’t go home again. But sometimes we can all use a slap-you-upside-the-head mirror to view our lives and those we love.
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