‘Still Alice’ by Lisa Genova#Book review

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Do you want to know about Alzheimer’s disease(A progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions) ?  Have you seen anyone suffering from Alzheimer’s? What happens if a highly intelligent Harvard professor at the peak of her career gets Alzheimer’s?    

If the above questions intrigue you, then the book ‘Still Alice’ is the perfect one for you.

‘Still Alice’  by Lisa Genova, is a poignant story about Alice Howland, a fifty year old psychology professor at Harvard, who discovers that she is affected by Alzheimer’s disease.  By that time, she has a perfect life : she is happily married with three grownup children and has an illustrious career. When Alice discovers that she is affected by the disease, her world turns upside down. Alzheimer’s is the last thing she had expected in her life.  How Alice copes up with this life changing event is the story.

I loved this book for several reasons. Here they are:

  1. Relatable: My grandmother is suffering from this disease and at times it is unbelievable to see her bouts of memory lapses. One minute she will be perfectly fine and in the next minute she behaves as if she doesn’t even know me. After reading this book, I can now comprehend what is going on in her mind. I can relate to several incidents in this book.  (For example: Alice trying to call her husband with a TV remote, Alice misplacing her book in the microwave, Alice wondering whether it is night or day).
  2. Creative : Weaving an interesting story out of a disease is quite creative. By choosing a Harvard professor as the victim of the disease, the author brings out the irony that the disease can attack anyone. Mixing facts with fiction and creating a moving story is awesome.
  3. Inspiring: Characterization of ‘Alice’ is marvelous. The author has vividly described how an intelligent person tries to tackle this disease. Highlights in the story are : the brilliant way in which Alice keeps track of her sanity by asking herself 5 simple questions  everyday, the proactive way in which Alice creates a support group for Alzheimer’s patients and the inspiring speech by Alice at the Dementia Care Conference after she is affected by the disease.

After I finished reading this wonderful book, I got a new found respect for Alzheimer’s patients.Thank you, Lisa Genova, for bringing to us the world of Alzheimer patients.

Finally , here is a touching quote from the book:

“My yesterdays are disappearing, and my tomorrows are uncertain, so what do I live for? I live for each day. I live in the moment. Some tomorrow soon, I’ll forget that I stood before you and gave this speech. But just because I’ll forget it some tomorrow doesn’t mean that I didn’t live every second of it today. I will forget today, but that doesn’t mean that today didn’t matter.”

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Did you read this book? What are your thoughts?

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