She reads books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live. – Annie Dillard
Publication Date: July 6, 2007
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About the Book
Still Alice is a compelling debut novel about a 50-year-old woman's sudden descent into early onset Alzheimer's disease, written by first-time author Lisa Genova, who holds a Ph. D in neuroscience from Harvard University.
Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children and a house on the Cape, is a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career when she notices a forgetfulness creeping into her life. As confusion starts to cloud her thinking and her memory begins to fail her, she receives a devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer's disease. Fiercely independent, Alice struggles to maintain her lifestyle and live in the moment, even as her sense of self is being stripped away. In turns heartbreaking, inspiring and terrifying, Still Alice captures in remarkable detail what's it's like to literally lose your mind...
For months, my best friend had begged me to please read this book even though I told her it was on my TBR list. Finally I gave into the endless pestering and from her recent book choices for me to read (whispers: I think she might be trying to torture me.) I cried. And cried. And cried some more.
For most of us, we tend to think of Alzhemier's as something people only develop when they're older. This book goes above and beyond to prove that is not true. This book will completely dispel any idea you think you know about this terrible disease.
Personally though, because this is a book to movie review, I did find that the book was significantly better. While I love Julianne Moore, I felt that the movie was rushed and there was such a disconnect between all the family members. The eldest children were completely devoid of emotion while the youngest daughter was trying so hard to care. Even the movie husband wasn't like the book husband. So this is definitely one of those "the book is better".
This is such a sad story though. To watch a brilliant mind be slowly consumed by endless forgetfulness and general confusion of her whereabouts. It was a slow loss of the grip of reality. But it was also how her family coped and how they learned that this disease is rapid and can and will change everything.
Although there is a significant amount of medical knowledge in the story, it didn't really take away from the book or pollute the general feeling of the storyline. In fact, it showed exactly who Alice and John were and how serious they were when it came to finding ways to help Alice decline comfortably.
I do recommend this story, however, I recommend bringing many tissues. And although the movie didn't have the same atmosphere, nothing beats Julianne Moore's acting, as always.
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