What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

7

“He made her more confident, funnier, smarter. He brought out all the things that were there already and let her be fully herself, so she seemed to shine with this inner light. He loved her so much, he made her seem even more lovable.”

RATING: 5/5

BLURB: “Alice is twenty-nine.

She adores sleep, chocolate, and her ramshackle new house.

She’s newly engaged to the wonderful Nick

. . . and is pregnant with her first baby.

There’s just one problem. That was ten years ago . . .

Alice slipped in her step-aerobics class, hit her head and lost a decade.

Now she’s a grown-up, bossy mother of three in the middle of a nasty divorce and her beloved sister Elisabeth isn’t speaking to her.

This is her life but not as she knows it.

Just how many mistakes can you make in a decade?

Can she ever get back to the woman she used to be?”

REVIEW: Having both read and watched ‘Big Little Lies’, another creation of Moriarty’s, I was really looking forward to reading some more of her books. ‘What Alice Forgot’ tells the story of Alice (duh), who is knocked unconscious during a gym class and wakes up believing that she is a 29-year-old Mum to be, happily married and doing up her dream house with her perfect husband, Nick. What Alice actually discovers is that she is a 39-year-old Mum of three, her adored sister is barely speaking to her, her mother has married her husband’s father, and she and her husband are going through a messy and bitter divorce. Completely stunned by these revelations, Alice finds herself unable to even remember her own children, and finds it completely impossible to comprehend the idea that she could be happily living a life without Nick.

The novel is instantly gripping and unputdownable, as the reader is just as desperate to uncover Alice’s memories as she is herself, and to find out exactly what happened between her and Nick. The reader instantly sympathises with Alice and warms to her, surprised to learn how much of a different woman she seems to have become in the last ten years with her military style organisation and her coldness towards Nick. The reader also recognises the connection between Alice and Nick despite their coldness towards each other in the present day, and wills them to get back together. With Alice’s memories being slowly pieced back together, the reader gets to know the other characters in the novel, particularly her children, at the same rate as she does – therefore, the reader bonds with them at the same rate . We also learn a little more than Alice through reading Elizabeth’s journal and Frannie’s blog, meaning that in terms of some of her relationships she’s actually a step behind the reader.

I loved the ending of the novel and how the characters blossomed throughout the story; it wasn’t just the protagonists’ story we were following, as it was easy to become invested in all of the characters. I would highly recommend this novel and am greatly looking forward to reading more of Moriarty’s work!

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