Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children and a house on the Cape, is a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career when she notices a forgetfulness creeping into her life. As confusion starts to cloud her thinking and her memory begins to fail her, she receives a devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Fiercely independent, Alice struggles to maintain her lifestyle and live in the moment, even as her sense of self is being stripped away. In turns heartbreaking, inspiring and terrifying, Still Alice captures in remarkable detail what’s it’s like to literally lose your mind..
This is an amazing contemporary story about a little discussed, little understood disease. I found it very emotional and compelling.
In the beginning, I had a hard time liking Alice. She seemed rather cold and hard. She was very ruthless and critical in her appraisal of her children. Her constant harping at Lydia about college and her career was offputting. Her complete lack of understanding or respect for Lydia’s decisions left me feeling very cold towards Alice. But as the story progressed, I grew to like and pity Alice.
One particularly striking moment in the story came when Alice compared Alzheimer’s disease to cancer. She wished she could trade them because cancer is something she could fight. Her friends, family and strangers would rally behind her and support her in her fight against the disease. But with Alzheimer’s, her friends and family pull away and become like strangers, embarassed and unsure how to be with her. It was such a sad and painful comparison, yet very true.
I listened to this on audiobook, narrated by the author. It was a very personal and emotional experience. The narration was done wonderfully, with all the emotional and passion you know the author has coming through in her telling of the story. I would definitely recommend this book, and the audiobook to readers.