I’ve been meaning to read some Liane Moriarty for the longest time. Everyone said they were unputdownable books about suburban drama and they weren’t wrong. What Alice Forgot was completely addictive reading and just what I needed. Moriarty tackles hard topics in an easy to digest way.
The premise is a bit far-fetched but works once you just buy into it. Alice Love hits her head in the gym one day and wakes up thinking it’s a decade earlier. At 40, she’s a completely different woman than she was at 30. She thinks she’s newly pregnant and starting a beautiful family with her husband Nick when in reality she’s in the process of getting divorced. The story is told from Alice’s memory addled perspective with a few asides by her sister and grandmother. The reader is almost as disoriented as Alice is so it’s almost like reading a mystery book. Does Alice have children? Why is she getting a divorce? Why isn’t she as close to the people she loves as she used to be?
There’s a lot of deep ideas to unpack in What Alice Forgot. Would your younger self like the person you’ve become? How would your relationships change if you lost memories of the last 10 years? I suspect some of mine would suffer and others would grow stronger. There’s a lot of baggage a relationship can accumulate and sometimes it would be nice to just wipe the slate clean and start from a new perspective.
With a book like this where so much of the story is the reader and Alice trying to figure out what is going on, a lot hinges on the ending. I kept thinking that I was really enjoying the reading experience, but that it could turn depending on whether Moriarty was able to stick the landing. In my opinion, she mostly stuck it. It’s not a perfect ending as I tend to like things more open-ended. However, Moriarty was able to create a satisfying ending that didn’t cheat the characters out of their development. That couldn’t have been an easy feat!