So without meaning to, I read two books back to back with the main character suffering memory loss. What Alice Forgot is set in the modern day (well, 2008) but our protagonist suffers a concussion at the gym and awakens believing it is 1998. In her mind she is a newly wed, pregnant with her first child; in reality she is recently separated from her husband and the mother of three children. Needless to say, she is a bit shocked at how the last ten years of her life have unfolded. The underlying thread is a mysterious best friend she has no recollection of, named Gina.
Alice and her sister, Elizabeth, have grown apart following Elizabeth’s fertility issues; and Alice’s loving husband spits venom whenever he interacts with her. Alice is also completely lost at how to raise three children she doesn’t remember, particularly her eldest child who is often in trouble at school. With a 29-year-old brain in a 39-year-old’s body, Alice sets out to reunite with her husband, find out what influence Gina had on her to make so many changes in her life and get back on the path she was on a decade ago.
“As seductive as it might have been to erase the grief and pain of the last ten years, it was also a lie. Young Alice was a fool. A sweet, innocent fool. Young Alice hadn’t experienced ten years of living.”
What Alice Forgot is a breezy read despite touching on some heavier topics. It is mostly told through Alice’s perspective but has journal entries written by Elizabeth and letters to an ex-fiance written by Alice’s grandmother. I wanted more from Elizabeth’s perspective, she was a more interesting character and her storyline was heartbreaking.
I thoroughly enjoyed Liane Moriarty’s other novel, Big Little Lies, earlier this year and am glad to say it was not a fluke. I cannot wait to read Her Husband’s Secret!