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This may be one of the most frightening novels you'll ever read. It's certainly one of the most unforgettable. Genova's debut revolves around Alice Howland - Harvard professor, gifted researcher and lecturer, wife, and mother of three grown children. One day, Alice sets out for a run and soon realizes she has no idea how to find her way home. It's a route she has taken for years, but nothing looks familiar. She is utterly lost. Is her forgetfulness the result of menopausal symptoms? A ministroke? A neurological cancer? After a few doctors' appointments and medical tests, Alice has her diagnosis, and it's a shocker -- she has early-onset Alzheimer's disease.
What follows is the story of Alice's slow but inevitable loss of memory and connection with reality, told from her perspective. She gradually loses the ability to follow a conversational thread, the story line of a book, or to recall information she heard just moments before. To Genova's great credit, readers learn of the progression of Alice's disease through the reactions of others, as Alice does, so they feel what she feels -- a slowly building terror.
In Still Alice, Genova, who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Harvard, uniquely reveals the experience of living with Alzheimer's. Hers is an unusual book -- both a moving novel and an important read.
WOW! I just finished reading this book and all I will remember Alice for a long time. I have taken care of many older people with Alzheimer's in my nursing career. I have never known them before they acquired the disease. I can not begin to imagine what they were going through as they knew what was happening to them. I think for all people who know someone with Alzheimer's disease, this should be required reading. The author did such a good job with her descriptions. I wish they would have taken the story even further. But maybe there will be a second book in the future. It is such an ugly disease. And this book describes it so well. The book was a really quick read. And I will think of Alice often. You should read it!