I recently read ‘What Alice Forgot’ by Liane Moriarty. It is a story of a woman who wakes to find she’s been injured in a gym. But more than that, her head injury has caused her to forget the last ten years of her life. She can feel the ‘old Alice’ telling her what to do on occasion, but the ‘young Alice’, the more trusting and optimistic Alice gets control most of the time.
What really struck me about this book was the detail. The majority of the book takes places over just eight days and follows the life of a woman trying to be a mother to her children, whom she can’t remember. This exploration of the daily life, seen through a lens of wonder, is beautifully constructed to highlight exactly how amazing real life can be. It shows the pressures of a full-time Mum, the importance of a regular coffee spot and just how much a place and a person can change in ten years.
With the ignorant yet wonder-filled view of Alice, the reader gets to see life, simple and real life, in a whole new lens. We get to understand the hopes, the heartaches, the joy and the fear that are all a part of reality. And yet, as we are reading a fiction book, we have the safe distance in which to sit back and observe rather than be forced to feel every agonising moment.
So to anyone wanting to read a book which will tell you about the real world instead of letting you escape from it, then this really is, a perfect book.