Still Alice

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Synopsis: Alice Howland is the epitome of a successful woman. She is a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics. She is married to a successful husband and has three grown and independent children. But in one unexpected and terrifying diagnosis, she is forced to adapt to the changes in her life -- and her relationships -- forever.

Review: I just finished this book less than an hour ago, and I have to tell you the truth, I am still sitting here, left completely heart broken by its story.
I will try not to make this a long review, so I will get to the point: This is a book you have to read. It is a haunting story -- a poignant portrait of Alzheimer's.
I can't even begin to explain to you, how I have always felt that Alzheimer's disease is one of the worst illnesses to have. With Alzheimer's, it's as if you have no choice with your own life anymore. You lose your mind -- everything about it; memories, feelings, thoughts, knowledge. You forget how to do basic things from urinating to finding the bathroom in your own home. You forget how to read. You forget how to write. You forget what you just said a minute ago. You even forget how to speak. Over time, the person with this harrowing disease will wake up not even remembering their own name, who their loved ones are, how old they are, where they are, among many other things. Though there are medication to help for the progression to slow, there is no cure. I can only hope that someday, there will be.
Still Alice by Lisa Genova is a book that had to be told, and one I highly recommend everyone to read. It is a heart wrenching and unforgettable story that is written to call for awareness.


  1. I completely agree with you about how awful Alzheimer's can be on anyone connected to the disease. This book sounds so good, but I'm terrified to read it because I'm just sure that I'll be bawling by the end of it!

  2. I've heard great things about this one. Your review is wonderful. I'll have to read this ASAP.

  3. This was an amazing book. Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease no matter what age you are but the early onset cases are so heartbreaking.

  4. @Anna: I was pretty much trying to hold back tears as I tore through the last chapters of the book. I have to admit it was a difficult read, but a great one nonetheless.

    @Steph: Thank you. This was a very 'easy' review to write. What I mean by easy is that it was one of those that just poured right out -- where you didn't really have to think about it much, because your response is automatic. I highly recommend it, and can't wait to hear your thoughts on it!

    @Mama Bookworm: I understand what you mean. It is indeed horrible for every age, and we're picking 'worst of the worst' here, but I agree that the early onset cases are heartbreaking. Maybe it's because it's the most unexpected? I don't know. It was definitely an amazing book.

  5. Jillian I agree. Still Alice is on my all time favourite list, I loved it.

    A sad read but one everyone should read.

  6. I've read this twice and LOVE it -- one of my favorites, a brilliant page turner. I found it fascinating to hear the story from the inside out of an Alzheimer patient--so believeable. (queen bee)

  7. @Marce J: I'm glad you feel the same way about it as well. Everyone should read this, I agree.

    @Kim: Yes, it's quite unique to read about the patient's POV. I have read other novels about Alzheimer's and they're usually about the caregiver's or loved ones' experiences. This is different and indeed very believable.

  8. Great review Jillian, I've heard good things about this book. I need to pick it up.