I picked up this book What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty because there was a big sign on the cover that says that she is the author of Big Little Lies, which is now an HBO TV series. I don’t really know why, because I haven’t watched a single episode of it and I did not read that book. I must have thought that if she has a book that’s good enough to be made into a TV series, then her other books should be relatively good or in the very least readable.
But I was wrong. Right off the bat, I would like to say that I really did not enjoy the book. The story itself is relatively alright; I would say that it is mildly interesting but then I also have a very high tolerance for books with a lack of depth. But it did have a plot, even if it was not very believable nor interesting. What I really did not enjoy was the way or style that it was written. Thankfully, I got this from the local library so I didn’t pay a cent for it.
**This part of the review consist of Spoilers
Alice Love is twenty-nine, madly in love with her husband Nick, pregnant with her first child, and she hates the gym – she’s beyond shocked when she comes to on the floor of a gym. At the hospital, she discovers that she is actually thirty-nine, getting a divorce and has three children. She’s drifted apart from her sister Elizabeth as well as some of her closest friends, and has apparently turned into a person that she does not recognise or like.
The current day Alice Love is now a hard-ass gym-loving skinny bitch who is in a fierce custody battle with Nick, and dating Dominick the but of course she does not remember a single bit of it. Apparently she and Nick started to grow apart in the year that built his career when he had to travel a lot, while he felt like everything that he did at home was wrong. They also stopped having sex when Alice’s mother married Nick’s father.
We also find out that Alice and Elizabeth grew apart because of Elizabeth’s infertility problems which grew into resentment on Elizabeth’s part that Alice didn’t care or understand. Then of course, is the mysterious Gina. Alice gets flashes of memories about someone called Gina – which she finds out later is her older self’s best friend who died recently in an accident. Before Gina died, Alice’s life pretty much revolved around her – even taking on her anger at men when Gina finds out that her husband cheated on her.
In the end, Alice gets back her memory. At first, her memories brought back all the accompanying anger that she had before – and all the effort that amnesia-Alice put in to salvage their relationship seems to have been wasted. However, a few months later, Alice and Nick gets back together, Elisabeth finally gets pregnant and safely gives birth to a baby girl, and everything ends happily ever after.
The writing style, as I mentioned earlier, is very annoying. It includes journal entries and letters randomly by Elizabeth and Frannie, which I feel breaks up the flow of the book. It might seem clever to some people, because it brings you the perspective of the other characters, rather than just the main protagonist, but I felt that it was quite badly done and when it appears it did not fit into the rhythm. I also felt that there were just too many of them – it might be a smoother read if the entries and letters are just by one character. Every time I see these letters and entries, my eyes pretty much start to glaze over.
Looking at the synopsis, I thought that the story would be bring me on some journey of self revelation but unfortunately it did not do that for me. The plot was very light – this is a rather thick book with a hell lot of words about nothing at all. It ends very predictably – that everything ends with a happily ever after. We get a lot of pages on how confused Alice is and for all the mystery that was built up over Gina, she’s really not that memorable. I really didn’t find myself truly liking any character in the book – Alice is just confused, Nick is a blob with no personality, Elizabeth is depressing, and Gina is dead.
I was unfortunately trapped in an airplane with only 1 book on my hands for 5 hours and it was nowhere near bed time, so I forced myself to finish reading it. But if you have a choice, unlike me, I would recommend staying clear of this.