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Book Review of What Alice Forgot

What Alice Forgot
What Alice Forgot
Author: Liane Moriarty
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Hardcover
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I read WHAT ALICE FORGOT for this month's "Female Name" theme in The Reading Cove, our online book club.

First off, I thought the synopsis gave away too much information, which sucked a lot of the tension from the opening chapters for me. And Alice losing ten years exactly makes it hard not to see the entire plot as rather sophomoric and gimmicky vs. something clever and real. Wouldn't it have been more true-to-life if she'd lost a more ambiguous amount of time...like say nearly 11 or 12 and a half years or something like that? Who gets knocked out and loses exactly the last ten years?

On the other hand, the author's pretty good at writing for comedy. I LOL a few times in the beginning; and some of the anticipated beats played out nicely, like when the effects of Alice's amnesia had clear benefits for improving circumstances with her children and in her fractured marriage.

While I think 'the younger you having the benefit of a glimpse at the older you' and vice versa was a fantastic premise, I feel it could've been executed with greater depth in the hands of a more sophisticated writer, because in the end, Alice's discoveries (and the details that she forgot) are pretty shallow and generic. The author leads you down one train of thought where Alice's marriage is concerned, then throws in a gotcha-styled "twist" that wasn't nearly as interesting, IHMO.

Oh, and the rambling POV of two other characters was included throughout the story in the form of very detailed letters...these could've easily been edited out; they become totally skimmable by the middle. But the main issue with these POVs was that every character, including Alice, seemed to think in the same cynical, ADHD, dark humor tone! Seriously...aside from the different issues they were each focused on, they may as well have been the exact same person. Not good, right?

All in all, I totally understand this being a commercial favorite, so if you're just looking for a mostly comedic beach read, this might be for you. But if you're looking for layers, depth and nuance, I couldn't recommend this one. B-/C+