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Still Alice – Lisa Genova

April 21, 2011

I have walked by this book many times at the bookstore, knowing it is something I wanted to read. On my recent vacation, I was looking for books to read and ended up downloading it to my Kindle with a few other books. I devoured this book. It was actually pretty short, but extremely engrossing. I had a hard time putting it down.

 Still Alice is a story about the cruel realities associated with Alzheimer’s disease.  In this novel, Alice Howland is a respected professor at Harvard University. She is married and has three children, who have all moved away from home. Still relatively young, in her mid-50s, Alice is at the height of her career and seemingly has everything going for her. Then she begins to notice her short-term memory is not what it once was. She is more and more often becoming confused and forgetful. After becoming worried about what could be wrong with her, Alice visits a series of doctors and is eventually diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.

 This book is a very well written, very honest, and very compassionate. It is a book about someone in the prime of their life, who has all of that stripped away, and there is nothing she can do about it. It is heart wrenching to see Alice descend into the depths of dementia. This book is extremely humbling. I had a hard time believing it was a debut novel. Genova is to be commended for this emotional and heartfelt book. It opened my eyes and taught me so much about Alzheimer’s. This book is a definite must read.

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