Wow! I just put this book down and had to tell. I laughed, I cried and I even worried while reading this poignant story … but most of all I was touched by the courage of the fictional, yet so real, protagonist Alice.
Still Alice has recently been released as a major motion picture starring Julianne Moore as Alice, Alec Baldwin as her husband and Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth and Hunter Parrish as her children. I haven’t seen the movie yet, and if you haven’t, I suggest you read the book first.
Alice is a Harvard PhD. University Professor in Cognitive Psychology and Linguistics … very intelligent lady. She and her super accomplished husband (cancer researcher at Harvard) live an academic life of travel, conferences, speaking engagements and social gatherings with other intellectuals. They have three grown children, two of whom are very accomplished (medicine and law) and one daughter who decides to be an actress in L.A. Seems like an amazing family right? Well, Alice starts forgetting things, keys, blackberry, appointments etc., sound familiar? Unfortunately, she also starts forgetting words, places and people. At first she thinks it’s menopause … my female readers might relate (and their husbands too) but no, Alice is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.
The story is told from Alice’s point of view as she succumbs to the disease. Having such an incredibly intelligent mind and using her own clinical experience in psychology, Alice devises a way to witness not only her own cognitive decline but is able to follow the effects of her disease on the entire family and society as a whole.
I won’t go into the details because I will ruin the story for you and I really want you to read it with an open mind. There really is a beautiful message to all of us … we are so much more than what we appear to be on the surface.
I do find it interesting that the author, Lisa Genova has a Biopsychology PhD. in Neuroscience and travels worldwide speaking about Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury and Autism. She has appeared on many television shows and in the award-winning documentary To Not Fade Away. Once I started researching Lisa Genova, it all made sense. Her incredible insight into Alzheimer’s, especially early onset, is extraordinary. You can visit her website Lisa Genova. It has great interviews, information on Alzheimer’s, her speaking engagements etc.
As an inspiring side note, fans of Kristen Stewart raised $24,253 to donate to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.