Still Alice by Lisa Genova, published in 2007 tells the story of Alice Howland, a fictional cognitive psychology professor at Harvard.
She has just turned fifty, and finds herself becoming increasingly disoriented and forgetful. A tragic diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's disease had me questioning my own mind as I read about her stuggles.
After I finished listening to this book, I went back and reread several sections just to relive them again, and to make sense of some scenes that I found confusing. Because this story is told from Alice's point of view and she becomes a more and more unreliable character, I found as a reader, I had to work harder to figure out what she was talking about. I thought this lent a sense of realism to the story, so much so that I went online and did a little research to make sure my own moments of forgetfulness were normal.
Alice is at the age where she should be enjoying becoming a grandmother, taking a little more time off work to travel with her beloved husband, but instead her world is turned inside out and upside down. Reading this story has enlightened me about what people with this diagnosis may go through. I found her portrayal of Alice's husband, John, realistic as he struggles to balance his career and needs with Alice's needs. Genova is a wonderful writer, and I will definitely be checking out her other books.
Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address or you can drop them off at the McKay Dee Hospital NICU in Ogden, Utah, Attention: Angie, and we will see they get to the right place.
Read to a child today even if that child is you.