Once I saw that this book was about the real woman who inspired the character Alice from Alice In Wonderland, I had to read it. There were many things I did not know. For example, Lewis Carroll is a pen name for Charles Dodgson, who took pictures of children that even in his time was considered scandalous.
I know this book is going to be one of my top ten for 2010. I know, I know the year just started, but this book is good. It just captured Alice's world, heartaches, love and relationship with her family so well that I didn't want to put it down.
I was quite surprised on how good this book is. It is the story of Alice Liddell, who was the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland. The novel takes you from her childhood, as a young woman, and as a mother, and how the story changed her life.
It didn't take me long to read and the novel progresses nicely. The characters are entertaining, and there is a bit of a mystery that isn't really revealed until the end.
I would definitely recommend this book.
I thought this was a very well written, fictionalized account of Alice Liddell's relationship with Charles Dodgson. Because it is fiction, there is plenty of speculation about what actually happened in the course of their relationship, but I found this book more palatable than Katie Roiphe's "Still She Haunts Me" which tackles the same subject but in which Dodgson comes off as a much more tortured soul. I thought this was a well-balanced, thoughtful portrayal of Dodgson within the cultural boundaries of the Victorian age. Dodgson was a genius, a pioneer of photography and a man awkward in the society of his peers, but comfortable with the unthreatening presence of little girls. Alice was one of his first muses and it seems as though she was never able to move beyond the role she was ultimately cast in -- that of the little girl who inspired "Alice in Wonderland". Insightful and fascinating read!
Unlike a previous reviewer, I did not find any indication that Charles Dodgson was a pedophile...there was nothing sexual about his relationships with little girls that I could discern. But that is for each reader to make up his or her own mind about.
This is a haunting love story about the life of Alice Liddell, the girl who inspired the man we know as Lewis Carroll to write "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". It is apparently quite historically accurate and involves a bit of a mystery and a bit of a love triangle. This book isn't the sort of genre that I usually find myself reading, but I was nonetheless quite absorbed in Alice's story. An exceptionally good read for fans of Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll, or anyone who likes reading about the Victorian era.
This is a historical fiction novel based on actual people & events. Benjamin does a great job weaving a tale around the circumstances surrounding Alice Liddell Hargreaves, the "real" Alice in Wonderland & her relationship with Mr. Dodgson (Lewis Carroll). A seven year old muse to the famous storyteller, she must cope with the complexities that arise from being the girl from the wildly successful story. As she ages from a child to an old woman, she is stuck in a perpetual vortex of conflicting emotions due to her involvement with Mr. Dodgson when she was a child.
While the author does include a reader's guide at the back of the story explaining Victorian sensibilities regarding children, I was still repulsed by the blatant pedophilic nature of Dodgson, who wrote under the pen name we all know as Lewis Carroll. If pedophiles existed today, they existed back then & Dodgson was certainly one of them. He was a creepy man who liked spending time with & photographing little girls. Alice Liddell was most certainly a victim despite the fact that she became forever immortalized as Alice in Wonderland.