What Alice Forgot is not easy to forget

Sorry, but I’m programmed to think “beach reads” must be fiction books. Fiction, meaning “not real” and “fairy tale” and maybe “not very meaningful.”

What Alice ForgotBut I found Liane Moriarty’s fictional and fairy tale-like What Alice Forgot to have gravitas and meaning. In fact, it fulfills “A book that made you cry” on my 2015 PopSugar Reading Challenge.

It’s the story of Alice, who falls down and hits her head and forgets the past 10 years of her life, including the births of her three children, her sister’s infertility struggles and why she is currently embroiled in a messy divorce from her husband Nick.

If light reading is your thing, don’t be scared off. What Alice Forgot is filled with romance and adorable children and silly things like tango lessons. It’s an easy read, it’s just not easy to forget.

Here’s the thing: While reading about Alice’s foibles, I couldn’t help thinking about myself 10 years ago. Ten years ago, I would have told you I would never get a divorce, I was quite happy childless and that I would have retired from the company where I was working; well, I did get divorced, I’m now a contented stepmother and that amazing company where I worked? Bankrupt. In Self magazine’s review of the book, the reviewer aptly described What Alice Forgot as “[a] hilarious reminder to hang on to the things that make you happy and let little annoyances go.”

Like The Husband’s Secret (which I picked up for a buck at the library book sale), What Alice Forgot realistically gets inside the heads of its main characters: Forgetful Alice, sorrowfully infertile Elizabeth and lonely Frannie. Moriarty is masterful is spinning a realistic story (this appeals to the nonfiction lover in me) in six directions and bringing it to a satisfying fairy tale conclusion. I paid full retail for the paperback of What Alice Forgot, and I’ll do it again for another of Moriarty’s titles, Big Little Lies.

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