I started writing this review almost two years ago, shortly after I finished reading Still Alice. Although it’s very delayed, I still want to share my thoughts. To me, this book is great at humanizing Alzheimer’s patients by helping the reader really imagine what having this disease means.
I read this book in less than 24 hours. Clearly, I enjoyed Lisa Genova’s heartbreaking Still Alice. I found it compelling and empathetic. This book’s story and the way Genova depicts Alice’s decline is pretty straightforward. However, it is because it seems so simple for the reader to appreciate and feel for Alice that Genova should be applauded. Lisa Genova knows what she’s doing: she is a neuroscientist and she’s written other novels that deal with neurological disorders. She portrays such understanding and compassion for her protagonist that I quickly became invested with Alice’s wellbeing. I, too, felt her undeniable sense of loss and frustration with her lack of control against this disease. Even her irrational behaviors made sense to me.
Even though Alice is a very accomplished protagonist – a successful professor with essentially a model life – she is still relatable. As impressive as she is, Alice is not perfect. And as the story progressed, I continued to empathize so much with her that I felt a strong sense of anguish with each decline. Obviously for Genova, Alice is a representative for anyone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
I also saw the movie soon after reading this book. I’m not surprised Julianne Moore received all of those awards for this role. Her rendition of Alice Howland was really impressive. For those who are unable to read Still Alice, I highly recommend the movie. Like the book, it provides an unflinching look at one woman’s brutal decline with Alzheimer’s. Because Still Alice tells its story so honestly and with such a relatable character, both the book and movie help engender more understanding and compassion towards victims of this indiscriminate disease.
Is there a book you’ve read a while ago that you still think about often?
Title: Still Alice
Editor: Lisa Genova
Publisher, year: Pocket Books; Media Tie-In edition, 2009
Chic rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆