I'm giving this book four stars, because I really enjoyed it -- enough to finish the whole darn thing (400+ pages) in one insomniatic night. It's not "literature," but it's well-written Aussie (not British, as I originally thought) chick lit. The characters are well-developed, the plot is entertaining, and I really liked it.
Parts of this book made me laugh, many parts made me cry in that Rom-Com written to make you cry way, and some parts made me think. As the discussion questions at the end ask, what would the me from ten years ago think of the current me?
The ending didn't bother me. It felt kind of inevitable, considering the genre.
What Alice Forgot is like a version of Sophie Kinsella's "Remember Me?" on steroids. The basic plot point of both novels is essentially the same: a woman wakes up after a head injury with no memories of her current life. She then spends the rest of the book trying to piece her life back together and struggles to figure out who she "really is."
While "Remember Me?" is more carefree at heart (it is by Sophie Kinsella, after all), "What Alice Forgot" is longer, deeper, and packs more of an emotional punch. This is a book that deals with marriage, motherhood, friendship, infertility, and divorce, and it does so with candid honesty as well as humor.
This is a book that demands every reader to ask the same questions of themselves: "If I suddenly woke up and thought I was 10 years younger, how would I see my current life? What would I think of myself? My decisions? My situation?" This book is an ideal choice for book clubs and discussion groups, as it easily provides hours of conversational fodder.
I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It was a deceptively easy read that kept me engaged from the very beginning. The challenge of having "young Alice" and "old Alice" sharing the same life was handled with masterful execution, and it made the entire story more than simply plausible: it made it feel real. I highly recommend it.
Loved this book and the transformations that took place ... made you think about what you would do in the same situation.