A moving story of a woman with early onset Alzheimer's disease, now a major Academy Award-winning film starring Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart.
Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty, she's a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a renowned expert in linguistics, with a successful husband and three grown children. When she begins to grow forgetful and disoriented, she dismisses it for as long as she can until a tragic diagnosis changes her life - and her relationship with her family and the world around her - for ever.
Unable to care for herself, Alice struggles to find meaning and purpose as her concept of self gradually slips away. But Alice is a remarkable woman, and her family learn more about her and each other in their quest to hold on to the Alice they know. Her memory hanging by a frayed thread, she is living in the moment, living for each day. But she is still Alice.
'Remarkable … illuminating … highly relevant today' Daily Mail
'The most accurate account of what it feels like to be inside the mind of an Alzheimer's patient I've ever read. Beautifully written and very illuminating' Rosie Boycot
'Utterly brilliant' Chrissy Iley
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
We were bowled over by this powerful story of a brilliant mind ravaged by Alzheimer’s disease. Author Lisa Genova—a Harvard-trained neuroscientist—details the slow unravelling of linguistic psychologist Alice Howland with great care, crafting crystal-clear moments of disorientation, family strife and heartbreak. Genova’s remarkable heroine inspired an astounding film performance by Julianne Moore, earning her an Oscar®.
Neuroscientist and debut novelist Genova mines years of experience in her field to craft a realistic portrait of early onset Alzheimer's disease. Alice Howland has a career not unlike Genova's she's an esteemed psychology professor at Harvard, living a comfortable life in Cambridge with her husband, John, arguing about the usual (making quality time together, their daughter's move to L.A.) when the first symptoms of Alzheimer's begin to emerge. First, Alice can't find her Blackberry, then she becomes hopelessly disoriented in her own town. Alice is shocked to be diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's (she had suspected a brain tumor or menopause), after which her life begins steadily to unravel. She loses track of rooms in her home, resigns from Harvard and eventually cannot recognize her own children. The brutal facts of Alzheimer's are heartbreaking, and it's impossible not to feel for Alice and her loved ones, but Genova's prose style is clumsy and her dialogue heavy-handed. This novel will appeal to those dealing with the disease and may prove helpful, but beyond the heartbreaking record of illness there's little here to remember.
I bought this book when my own grandmother was first diagnosed with dementia. I was looking for a story that would really help me to understand how my Nan is feeling and this book did it. I cannot emphasise enough how fantastic this book is. It's the only book to have ever made me cry and I was hooked from start to finish. The film version was also superb. Most films cut out the most important parts of the book but this one didn't. Read it then watch it. You will thoroughly enjoy both, even if you have no connection.
This is one of the most thought provoking books books I have read in quite a time.