Monday, December 28, 2009
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Still Alice is a novel about a Harvard psychology professor who's diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. I was reluctant to read it. I mean, how depressing. But one of the book clubs I attend occasionally was reading it, and it came very highly recommended, in that "You HAVE to read this!" kind of way, so I decided to give it a few pages. And that's all it took. It's excellent. The point of view is all Alice, the one with Alzheimer's, and the picture of what it's like to live with Alzheimer's is vivid and brilliant. It's also a great story of how members of a family deal differently with the difficulties their mother and wife face. Parts of the book had me wincing because I could so easily imagine myself saying that exact same thing under those circumstances. It's beautifully written, sometimes painful, finally inspiring and uplifting. In fact, it might be a little too uplifting, but maybe that's a good thing, considering that it might help some people deal more positively with Alzheimer's. I don't have personal experience with Alzheimer's, but this novel is endorsed by the Alzheimer's Association, and I guess they ought to know.