What would happen if you were visited by your younger self, and got a chance for a do-over? Alice Love is 29 years old, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child. So imagine her surprise when, after a fall, she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! she HATES the gym!) and discovers that she's actually 39, has three children, and is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce. A knock on the head has misplaced 10 years of her life, and Alice isn't sure she likes who she's become. It turns out, though, that forgetting might be the most memorable thing that has ever happened to Alice.
©2011 Liane Moriarty (P)2011 Penguin Audio
Liane Moriarty is one heck of a story teller. And Tamara Lovatt-Smith was an engaging narrator. This dynamite combo made for a funny and touching narrative to which I could not stop listening, sleep be damned! If a detail was missed or a character mis-placed, I rewound back until I heard it all, every word. So well constructed through dreams, thoughts, flash backs and of course present dialogue, the novel is a joy, even to finish! You actually don't yearn for more. She's parceled out a perfect portion of literature. Not easy to do, making me ardently admire her skill.
Having just heard a true story of a woman who had been in a coma after a car accident, who upon waking found she'd lost the last two years' memories, listening to Moriarty's book I felt she very realistically portrayed what goes on in a mind wracked by amnesia. Both the real car accident woman I read about and fictional Alice had to reckon with the woman they'd become from the perspective of their younger selves. And both came to similar conclusions about their lives and whom they wanted to be. And both felt, in the end the amnesia was a rare gift. Found this intriguing; this tale can't help but make you ponder what you might feel faced with a similar situation. Not a bad life exercise?
In What Alice Forgot, Alice comes to after a fall, in her 40 year old body, but with the mind and character of herself at 30. Utterly fascinating how Moriarty has Alice cope with such a situation. Also dealt with, in the novel, from many viewpoints, how women ruled by biological clocks have to maneuver through marriage changes after children, the myriad of job complications and the heartbreak of infertility, older couplings, female relationships and their far reaching impacts on our lives and much more.
These issues are dealt with touching empathy and frankness. Moriarty wove us through a web of many characters of all ages and brought us to a delicious end. No easy task. Bravo Liane. 5 stars for sure.
My rating is closer to a 2.5, but some one with higher sentimentality may rate it higher. I would recommend to anyone who has gone through serious marital disputes and for anyone who has had difficulty with motherhood with the clause that they have walked away from these challenges with fairy tale endings.
The performance was what kept me through the lulls in this book.
All the characters weave the story line but however endearing the grandmother and her boyfriend's part may be extra.
Most people enjoy a happy ending, but I prefer one that would have delivered a stronger Alice. There are some wonderful times of introspection by the characters. At these times the book sparks inner reflection as well - at the things we should keep, those we should change, and those we need to learn to accept. At these times the characters - Alice and her sister - made me feel like I had two allies. This is all undone at the end. The story seems to convey "life doesn't always turn out as expected" and "that's okay" but the end betrays it all.
I LOVE to listen to audiobooks - the Audible ap is by far the best thing that's ever happend to my iPhone.
Ok - so I am like a lot of people and I see my relationship and want to know what I can do to make it better. Sometimes I read a book about relationships... but usually found in the self help section... but THIS BOOK - this is a book that can very possibly give you insight to your own relationship.
I loved this book - I loved the premise, the narrator... the story. I loved the ending - heck... it's a great book.
As far as What Alice Forget this book kept my interest writ till the end.
I liked them all. But Alice was my favorite.
I enjoy listening a few hours a day as I work. Lucky for me I work at home .
I read and listen to books. I drink tea. I sleep like a cat and wished I lived in Hawaii.
I recently listened to "The Husband's Secret" (Moriarty's latest book) and enjoyed it so much that I needed to find something else of hers to read. I didn't know that I could like chick-lit so much. Is this chick-lit? I felt like it was smarter than what I typically think of as chick-lit. Maybe it could be called contemporary fiction for women, but is that just chick-lit in the end?
I really like Moriarty's formula. She creates an interesting event that her stories revolve around. Her books are suspenseful with side plots that also have hidden secrets. In this book, Alice bumps her head at the gym and forgets the last ten years of her life. AMNESIA! What a interesting and soap opera thing to have happened, minus all the bad lighting. So instead of knowing that she is 39, Alice thinks she is 29. Of course, Alice's life has change a lot over the last ten years and not necessarily for the better. We get to see in time all of what Alice has forgotten about her own life as well as those close to her. Her sister and grandmother also play significant roles in the book and narrate sporadically. Maybe the amnesia twist is over the top, but I think that Alice's reaction to the event and to those close to her was convincing. I thought it was smart and well executed on the author's part. I didn't love the ending, it was a bit drawn out and slow, but it didn't leave anything unresolved. Overall, the book was heart-warming and heart-breaking with a bit of humor tossed in.
I don't think this will appeal much to men. It gets a bit dramatic and focuses on the thoughts and feelings of 3 different women. It's a bit "girly". And, like I stated before, this isn't a book that you would call literary, even though I think Moriarty has well thought out plots and dialogue. I enjoyed the narration by Lovatt-Smith, especially her Australian accent. I thought she was charming. If you are a woman that enjoys chick-lit or contemporary fiction, then I think you will enjoy this listen/read.
Recent college grad who studied creative writing... now I bum 'round listening to other's works. Not a bad life :)
For light reading, this book and others by Moriarty are great.
I really valued the marriage difficulties and successes in this book. It's so true, and if you're in a marriage that has had its fair share of shakes you're bound to really get into the storyline.
The narration is very "interesting." Narrator Lovatt-Smith is very distinctive. She can be slow and sultry or quick with the wit of a line. However, her voice is flat to me. She doesn’t do enough to represent each character, imo. I did like how she acted out each child’s voice in this novel. That was a bit of a thrill, but the rest of the characters were rather flat.
I would take Mrs. Moriarty, the author, out! We could share a bottle of wine and she could tell me the plot of her next book because I can't wait for number four :)
This story is FANTASTIC! What Alice Forgot is my second novel by Moriarty and I listened to it in just four days! Like with the first, The Husband’s Secret, the setting is in Australia. I love the backdrop; it’s so much fun to hear the references made to American culture. For instance, you’ll see lines about Bill Clinton and Brad Pitt weaved into the plot. And, in the other hand, you get lines like “the child cradled her mother’s leg like a koala.” So much fun!! Also, Moriarty’s style is so fascinating. She has women pegged! And I don’t say that lightly. She bounces around from their words to their thoughts exploring all aspects of dialog. This is really hard to do and I have seen it get very sticky in other books but never with her. She is an expert at not only exploring all viewpoints of dialog but she also tells simultaneous stories that parallel the protagonist. Just genius! I was turned on to Moriarty by a reviewer and I hope I too can encourage a listen too. I doubt you’ll regret it.
Overall I thought this book was very good. I loved the idea and it made me think many times how it would apply to my own live. I really enjoyed all the characters and it gave a good insight into couples struggling with infertility.
The reason I did not give it 5 stars is that the ending should have been better. I liked HOW it ended but I think the detour it took to get there should have been left out. Especially when she says that everything might have ended the same way without the memory loss - I felt a bit cheated , then what was the point of the whole book/situation.
Overall I don't regret reading this book it was very entertaining and gave me some food for thought.
The reader was good but it took me a little getting used to her voice.
The simplicity of it - the author/narrator drew me into the story of this woman and her family. I liked how we were learning about the characters and their lives at the same time the main character was- her life 10 years in the future was a complete new world to her.
I felt emotion for the characters and wanted things to work out for them as if I knew them.
I haven't felt that for a book in ages!
Her narration was perfect for the story. Pleasing to the ear, a good representation of the main character ( I did get confused sometimes when it switched to her mother )
Yes! I listened to it very quickly over a few days, wanting to listen to it before bed and when I woke up, and looked forward to it all day!
At first I was a bit unsure if Alice really lost her memory after hitting her head - or if she was some sort of time traveler or if it was a dream... but that is probably because I had only been reading fantasy fiction for a while now...
Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
I spent about three days immersed in Alice's story. It's all about amnesia, marriage, divorce, infertility, having children--life! Basically, it is what I call a "relationship book." No monsters, no non-stop action, no murders. However, there certainly was a slowly unfolding mystery. The story held me spellbound, and I never lost interest.
I was particularly charmed by the narrator, Tamara Lovatt-Smith. Her delightful Australian accent, along with a perfect take on Alice's personality, made me love listening to this story. Her voice remained in my head the next day after I had finished my listen.
If I had a minor quibble, it would be that Ms. Lovatt-Smith should learn how to do different voices to make the narration a little easier for listeners. I am sure this will come in time.
The next time I get the craving for a "relationship" book, I will certainly turn to Liane Moriarty. And hopefully, to Ms. Lovatt-Smith.
I enjoy literary fiction with character depth and psychological exploration. I am in my 50s, work in psychology, and love the outdoors.
This is a great Australian story, funny and interesting. Ideas are presented about a woman's life, relationships and choices. The writing is fairly simple but enjoyable and engaging. In fact, after listening to this book, I went on to listen to the author's other two available books.
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