What Alice Forgot

Monday, June 17, 2013

Since I've been blogging less, I've been reading a lot more. I recently discovered that I like to borrow fiction from the library, but I like to buy nonfiction. I underline and take notes in nonfiction. I return to it because I want to recall those exact lines of helpfulness. But fiction, I just enjoy. I read it, savor it, and might even live with the characters rambling around in my head for a few days, but then I return it. There is no need for me to keep fiction because I won't open it again. The fiction I own, I'll pass it on the shelf, tap the spine and think, "Yes, that was a good one," but there will be no flipping through to find that one special passage. 

That's why I've convinced myself that fiction should be borrowed and returned to the library, except now I wish I could keep What Alice Forgotby Liane Moriarty just so I could walk by it and fondly remember one day, "Yes, that was a good one."

I read it in three days last week while we were on vacation. If I hadn't been forced to leave the pool I definitely would have finished it in one. What Alice Forgotis about a woman who wakes up on the floor of a spin class. She fell off the bike and severely bumped her head. She thinks it is 1998, but it's 2008. She thinks she is pregnant with her first child and happily married. Instead, she has three children and she is separated. I rarely read books set in modern times because I am afraid they will be silly or stupid. This book is neither silly nor stupid. It is a fascinating exploration of relationships, and how they change over time. The part I wish I could underline comes at the end of the book. (I don't think it deserves a spoiler alert because you still won't guess the outcome.) 

This is what Alice learned about marriage:
She had always thought that exquisitely happy time at the beginning of her relationship with (her husband) was the ultimate, the feeling they'd always be trying to replicate, to get back, but now she realized that was wrong. That was like comparing sparkling mineral water to French champagne. Early love is exciting and exhilarating. It's light and bubbly. Anyone can love like that. But love after three children . . . after you've hurt each other and forgiven each other, bored each other and surprised each other, after you've seen the worst and the best - well, that sort of love is ineffable. It deserves its own word.
I think that's genius. My parents are celebrating 41 years of marriage today. My husband and I will celebrate 10 years on Friday. Every time I get on Facebook I'm reminded of another couple celebrating a June anniversary. It's the wedding month. And yet, we all know people who aren't. We know that stuff happens. Here's the unifier: Whether you are still together or not, none of us are the same people we once were, in those 10 year old, or 41 years old, photographs. 

That's kind of the point of Liane Moriarty's superb book. You can't go back. Our personalities and circumstances change over time. But if you can hang on through that, and not wish your life away for something else, well - that's something to remember.

Have you read What Alice Forgot? What did you think of it?

Linking with:

(This may be stretching the bounds of what I'm finding for His glory, but this realistic and ultimately positive view on family life felt God-sent to me on our anniversary trip.)

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7 Responses to “What Alice Forgot”

  1. Love this, especially that golden quote. I will keep my eye out for this book.

  2. I'm adding this book to my to-read list. Thanks for the recommendation! :)

  3. Thanks for sharing this book! I'm definitely going to add it to my must-read list! :)

  4. Imagine my delight when I saw you in the link up! We are going to the library tomorrow and I am going to see if they have this book, (BTW, I am a buyer of non-fiction, too. I love me some highlighting!)

  5. Woot! Glad you all are interested. Recommending a book with confidence is satisfying!

  6. Sounds great! I just put a hold on a copy at my library - can't wait to read it!

  7. I marked this one right away after seeing it on Goodreads, but now I'm really interested in reading it. That quote was awesome and dead-on. Looking forward to it! We'll be celebrating with you this weekend, 11 years on Saturday. Happy Anniversary!!