Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.
So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes.
Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over.
I found the audio edition of What Alice Forgot read by Caroline Lee to be a good read, so to speak. The entirety of the story had the feel of The Vow except our amnesic heroine gets some of her memories back along the way.
The initial introduction to Alice and her confused mental monologue of ramblings after her head injury made me want to stop my audio and wait for the rental period to expire. I understand the desire to express confusion which would be entirely natural for someone who just experienced a bad head injury and lost most of their memories, but it was tedium for me and I’m not the most patient of people. I wanted to jump right into the story, find out what was going, and what happened next. Dragging out the beginning of the story just seemed completely unnecessary but I -am- very glad that I stuck it out.
The Alice of ten years beforehand reminds me of a pretty caterpillar that I might have come across in my garden and would have been reluctant to kill despite her eating all the leaves off my plants. There’s a little bit of childlike wonder as she realises that somewhere during the ten years that she’s lost, Alice has transformed into a beautiful butterfly. You know the sort that’s rare and you’d think that you’d be lucky to ever glimpse one in your lifetime.
I enjoyed the various characters and how dynamic their relationships were. The closeness of Alice and Elizabeth as children and how the sisters were now so estranged. Nick and Alice with their euphoric, perfect love and marriage, now in the middle of a divorce. The wizened, quaint Frannie who inspired me to want to blog a lot more through sharing her experiences about her family, friends, and her retirement village. I liked the contrast between Alice’s memories of these people and the stark reality of how things had turned out. It is a not so subtle reminder not to take things for granted or to get comfortable with the way things are. For they may not always be so.
The real gem of this story lies in the epilogue which surprised me when I finally got to it. Just when I thought that I had figured everything out, there were still a few twists before the author nicely tied up all the loose ends.
It’s a ditzy, heartwarming read.