Sunday, July 21, 2013

Still Alice, by Lisa Genova

Barnes & Noble

Alice HowlandHarvard professor, gifted researcher, and lecturer, wife, and mother of three grown childrensets out for a run and soon realizes she has no idea how to find her way home.  She has taken the route for years, but nothing looks familiar.  She is utterly lost.  Medical consults reveal early-onset Alzheimer's.

Alice slowly but inevitably loses memory and connection with reality, as told from her perspective. She gradually loses the ability to follow a conversational thread, the story line of a book, or to recall information she heard just moments before.  Genova's debut shows the disease progression through the reactions of others, as Alice does, so readers feel what she feels: a slowly building terror.

I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to Alzheimer's.  My maternal grandmother was diagnosed with the disease when I was in my teens, but she lived halfway across the country and I never saw her health decline.  My paternal grandfather suffered from some dementia when he was in his 90s, but it was never very obvious.

Listening to this audiobook was not easy: Alice is a brilliant woman who loses everything about herself.  It's a heartbreaking story and one that I hope I never have to experience.

Lisa Genova narrates this audiobook and she does an amazing job.  Not all authors are qualified to read their own works; Genova is a rare exception.

No comments:

Post a Comment