Rated of 5
Moving and unforgettable
Alice Howland is leading a pretty good life. At fifty years old she is a Professor of Cognitive Psychology at Harvard and is an expert in linguistics. Her husband John is a respected research scientist also at Harvard. They have 3 adult children and a happy marriage. As Alice begins to notice that she is becoming forgetful and losing things more often she chalks it up to menopause, stress, over work and her very busy life. When she gets lost just a few blocks from her home on a route she knows by heart she knows something is wrong. Scheduling an appointment to see a neurologist she is preparing herself for a diagnosis of a brain tumor. What she gets is a diagnosis of Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease and everything in her life will never be the same.
Lisa Genova has written a powerful and deeply moving book of the descent into Alzheimer’s from the point of view of Alice. By putting a very human face on this disease, we are drawn into the destruction of this illness, not only Alice’s losses, but those of her friends, colleagues and family. I found the writing to be beautiful and felt I really knew Alice and took this journey with her. It has changed the way I think about this disease and its devastating effects.
Anyone who has ever dealt with any overwhelming medical diagnosis can relate to many of the situations portrayed in this story. The most significant message of all is that those who love you and that you have loved are the most important parts of your life, for they will hold their memories of you in their hearts and minds, even if you can’t remember them.