I listened to this book with interest as I've often thought of what it would be like to somehow glimpse my life from the viewpoint of myself as a younger woman, except that I would know all then that I know now. Of course, this story isn't like that but the concept is relatable.
My criticisms of this book are few, but they are as follows:
To really review this, I'd have to discuss it which would include spoilers, and I don't want to do that. Let's just say that in not every life would Alice's experiences be applicable, or would things work out the way that they did for her. The specific life that Alice leads allows for it, so this left me with a lack of believability for this book.
As with other Liane Moriarty novels, this story is told slowly and served in bite sized pieces of information. While Moriarty has done a great job of building suspense with this device in other novels, with this particular novel I found that a bit frustrating and unrealistic at times. Often when something is on the verge of being revealed, some annoying distraction gets in the way that stops it, or the story arc changes (there is a main plot and two sub-plots) and often, feels like an interruption of the flow rather than a natural progression. The use of sub-plot seems to be pretty common in Moriarty's work and in other books of hers (especially Big Little Lies) it really works to move things forward, whereas in this book it often feels like it is used as a distraction device from the main plot to drag it out and/or fill in details that could otherwise be difficult to reveal. Sub-plots are used well when they make the reader forget that the main plot is unresolved, whereas there were times in this book where I wanted to skip over the subplot parts and return to the main event. Don't do that though- as pedantic as some of them can be (especially the Frannie subplot) they are used to reveal details that do contribute to the story. They just aren't as enjoyable/fulfilling as the main plot so at times they feel like a bit of a chore.
The next problem I had with this book was the narrator. I agree with other reviews that not enough inflection was used so sometimes, it is hard to interpret that a character change has occurred, or who is doing the narrating- especially at the beginning of the book when the listener is still trying to determine who is doing the narrating. This is certainly not the only book to have this challenge- some books simply do not translate as well as audiobooks and this, to be fair, could well be one of them. However, I thought that the narrator's calm voice definitely lent itself well to Alice's younger personality- calm, cool, soothing.
There are some good laughs, some good tender moments. While I am a wife and a mother, I haven't been through a lot of what Alice has, so it didn't hit me right where I live but I can see where it really could for some folks- especially in regard to marriage, childbirth.
Alice is likable enough that, despite the drag from time to time, I still wanted to listen to find out how things turn out for her and her family.
Overall, this is a good book that is definitely worth the credit. I'm certainly a fan of Moriarty's. It's a great account of the themes of marriage, motherhood, personal discovery, and family. It may well make the reader question all these aspects of her life, and I say her because this one is far more gender specific toward wormen than Big Little Lies or The Husband's Secret.
I didn't read the print version. I loved the Australian accent in the narrated version though, and would definitely listen again.
It made me think about my life, my choices, and my problems with new perspective.
I very strongly identified with Alice, the main character.
Yes, I didn't want to stop listening. I took my headphones everywhere.
This book was completely entertaining and the emotional depth within it was really moving. I LOVED LOVED LOVED it. Can't recommend it enough, especially to other tired, haggard, wives who become far too busy with their children and obligations and forget who they once were. I am one of these women, sometimes. DOWNLOAD IT. You'll love it.
This book was incredible--it was smart, thought-provoking, intense.
The title character, Alice, hits her head in a gym accident and forgets the last ten years of her life--especially the details of her relationships with her spouse, children and friends. She forgets why she and her husband are divorcing and remembers only how much she adored him 10 years ago.
The narrator did a beautiful job.
anyone going through marital difficulties should read this book--maybe to achieve a "good" divorce, one must remember why you once loved them
Probably not, there are too many books out there that I want to read. Although, I loved this book, if I read it again, I would know what was coming, which is not fun for me.
No, but, I have read Liane Moriarty's books before. I have enjoyed most of them.
Story was captivating.
When the dream from the beginning of the book was was said again at the end. I can't say more without spoilers...
I can't remember why I bought this book, but I found it in my library and thought it would be a "soft" story to listen to between my usual slasher/spy/mystery listening habit.
As another reviewer said, I was reeled in quickly to the story of a person whose memories have been erased and how the jig-saw puzzle reconstruction of a personal history might be accomplished This is not an unusual theme, but it was told and narrated in a compelling manner, gentle yet piercing, witty and sensitive.
The narrator was excellent - and a very important part of my enjoyment of a book. In fact, that's the luxury in audiobooks - listening to the storyteller. I will definitely get another book from Liane Moriarty.
The premise of this book is genius, and has sort of a background Alice in Wonderland sort of oddness to it, helped on by the fact that the main character is named Alice. But in whole, this book is a "character book", full of at least two fully flushed-out people, surrounded by 7 to 8 other very interesting, distinct characters that enrich and brighten and darken and make-full the story. I haven't hung on the words of a book like this since "The Help" or "the Cuckoo's Calling" (the one JK Rowling wrote under pseudonym) - it's just so very well written with wonderful dialog, perfect breaks, and different perspectives that move the story along.
The story takes place in Sydney Australia, which doesn't have anything to do with the story, except that the narrator has a lovely, soothing and completely authentic accent.
Who would enjoy this book: Mothers. Those seeking to be mothers. Those struggling to be mothers. One newly in love at the beginning of a relationship. A newlywed. One years into marriage. Perhaps one at the brink of ending a relationship. But mostly, women. I don't think this is a "guy" sort of book.
Alice hit her head and lost the last 10 years of her memory, and so it begins. To not give away any of the lovely twists and turns, I'll just share with you my reaction and feelings that I had toward the end of the book, and then when it was all over, and hope that helps you in deciding whether or not you'd like to use up a credit on it - it might depend on where you are in your life.
We often think of being able to go back in time as our wiser selves to give advice to our foolish or frightened younger selves, and give them advice : "it will all be okay", "don't worry, that boy won't matter a lick to you 10 years from now", "don't do it, you'll regret it". But instead imagine that that younger version of yourself got to come forward and comment on what you've made of your life now. What would they think? The you from back when you were innocent and thought anything was possible, before you were hardened and wizened by the hard knocks of the world. When you were young and weren't meant to "know everything" and so you didn't have to pretend to. When you could jump into things, without self conscious worry that you would screw it up because you had your whole life ahead of you. The carefree, kindness and optimism that being young holds, thrust into in your world now of worry about money, the future, what people thought of you, how well you are doing at your job, in your life. What if you didn't know any of those people that now surround you, so you didn't care what they thought of you, and you got to just be free of it all. And learn about your "now" life like it was someone else's. What would you think of yourself? What would you change if you got to forget about all the bad things, the arguments, the disappointments, and rejections. This book, so well written, will let you get lost in that feeling, you'll have those conversations with yourself about your own life, you'll feel a little freer of the constraints and responsibilities you've layered on yourself, and you will begin to not take it all so seriously. And it will give you a beautiful, wonderful new perspective, new hope, new bravery that you can do anything again.
I have 3 too short chapters to go. I'm very worried that it won't wrap up properly, or that it won't wrap up at all and I'll be left in confusion or anger, stripped of the uplift that the book has provided so far. I'll disagree with what the older version of Alice did once she returned, and I'll think she's stupid instead of lucky. I hope that I'm able to hold on to the hope she's given me these 13 or so hours I've spent with her in her upturned life. I hope I'll continue with the courage and the bravery to upturn my own. (quit my needlessly stressful, ridiculous job, innocently and without the "know it all" seek help to launch my own business, maybe have another baby?) Could it be possible? I would do it, were I 10 years younger.
Oh my god. Well, I did finish it, and it did wrap up; it wrapped up fully and beautifully. And I didn't think Alice was stupid, or lucky. I found myself, again, thinking of myself, and wanting to jump ahead 10 years to my older self and say, "ride it out, it will all work out, it always works out, just as it should." Because life goes on, regardless of what you do, and all we're really doing is making daily strides, making memories, moving toward something that really is unknown. I was interrupted 4 or 5 times during the last 7 minutes of the book (husband came home for lunch, the dog needed letting out, etc) and I had to keep rewinding to make sure I didn't miss a single word, a single last minute of the lesson. And when it was done, finally done, I cried. Happy, relieved, "so that is that and back to my life" sort of tears. And hopeful that I can keep the journey I felt through this book with me for awhile.
AUDIBLE MAKES READING POSSIBLE AND EASY FOR ME...I AM VISUALLY IMPAIRED. I WISH THEY HAD ALL THE BOOKS I WANT I WOULD SNAP THEM UP!
I LIKED ALICE'S STORY
I DON'T KNOW BUT I LIKED THIS ONE.
IT WOULD BE NICK. I KNEW ALICE QUITE WELL BY THE END OF THE BOOK AND I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW NICK BETTER.
I DO THINK THE STORY WAS DRAGGED A BIT. AND SOME PARTS SEEMED UNNECESSARY AND ADDED LITTLE TO THE STORY. BUT OVERALL IT WAS A GOOD BOOK FOR WOMEN.
Definitely will! It was a wonderful story!
I couldn't guess how it would end !
Perfect accent for the characters.
And what was worth remembering.
I was looking for a lighthearted "spacer" between books, and I got more that I expected. I found myself eager to keep listening. I wanted to see how things turned out for everyone - Alice, her sister, her grandmother, Nick, her kids. As a consequence, my "kill some time" book went by very quickly.
Perhaps the precipitating incident was a little implausible, but this is fiction, after all, and I thought the author made the characters and their circumstances believable and understandable. I thought the book was smart, humorous, and enjoyable.