Sunday, January 25, 2015

Still Alice

From Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
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!

14 comments:

  1. I'll look for it, Paula; it does seem interesting.

    betty

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    1. It was very interesting Betty! I hope you find it

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  2. Ugh ... AD is so cruel. My own mother suffered from dementia, which is bad; but (I understand) not near as insidious. In retrospect, I wish I'd known more to better cope - both with her and my own emotions.

    PS - I'm really enjoying Attachments ... and yes, have laughed out loud more than once!

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    1. I am glad that you are enjoying Attachments. It was such a fun read! And I needed that. Yes, AD is a cruel disease. Richard did not suffer from that He knew us until the end. It would be awful, I think, to have your loved one forget who you even are.

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  3. This one has been on my to-read list for awhile now. (I'd really like to see the movie version, too. I love Julianne Moore, and hear she is terrific in the movie.)

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    1. I am not much of a 'movie' person. The book was very good!

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  4. I don't know that I can read this book right now. I have a good friend who is trying to care for her husband who suffers from Lewy Body Dementia and it is heartbreaking to see. Two years ago, he was a brilliant professor, now he can't be left alone for a minute.

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    1. Debbie, Lewy Body Dementia is what my recently departed husband had. Dementia is horrible. No matter what type it is. I think reading this book might help you to understand what HE is going through. So much out there is written from the caregivers perspective.

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  5. I have heard many good things about this book but I haven't worked up the courage to read it yet.

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    1. I understand Wendy! Hugs your way my friend

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    2. I understand. Just know that you are already more courageous than you know.

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    3. Hello Elaine....long time since I have seen you around. And you couldn't be more right!

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