“What Alice Forgot” opens with Alice Love regaining conciousness on the floor of a gym. We meander through her daydreams and memories of being 29, newly pregnant, and madly in love with her husband. But when she wakes up, she is told that she is 39, with three children and going through a nasty divorce. “That was the day Alice Mary Love went to the gym and carelessly misplaced a decade of her life.”
We follow Alice as she navigates this new life. Because she believes she is 29, she sees the world as fresh and new and beautiful. But the life she is dropped into has lost all of those qualities, and it is up to her to puzzle out why. However, all of the people that she turned to a decade before have been alienated to some degree by one thing or another.
The whole time I was reading this book, I was intrigued by the premise of it. Alice is able to objectively evaluate the choices she made for a decade. And it is the kinder, gentler version of herself analyzing everything. Not the cynical 39 year old near divorcee! At one point, Alice’s sister Elisabeth tells her this: “Maybe this memory loss is sort of a good thing because it will help you see things more objectively without your mind being cluttered with everything that’s happened over the last ten years. And once you get your memory back, you’ll still have a different perspective and you and Nick will be able to work things out without all the fighting.”
I love a book that challenges me to think differently and this one does just that. Liane Moriarty seems to be shouting, “Just let go of your bitterness and hurt for a moment and really think about what you’re doing!” So often we hold onto the past as if it’s all we have, when what we really need to do is learn from it and live for today. So I challenge you to read this book. Remind yourself of simpler times. Take a long hard look at your life and see if there are things that need to be changed. If you’re like me, you’ll be inspired to be kinder by following the example of Alice Love.