Most of you will probably have heard of Still Alice by now due to Julianne Moore’s Oscar winning performance. I read many rave reviews about the film and ahead of its release on DVD, I decided to pick up the book.
For those of you who may not be familiar with the plotline, it tells the story of Alice Howland, a 50-year-old cognitive psychology professor at Harvard who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.
The blurb indicates that Still Alice should be the ultimate tearjerker, but admittedly, it did nothing for me. Although it was an enjoyable read, I just didn’t connect with this book or get sucked into the emotion of the story. Perhaps because, luckily for me, Alzheimer’s has not touched my life in any way and I am at an age where it has not become a worry yet. I also think that it was because while the author gave some insight into life with the disease, it felt like she only skimmed the edge. Also, while I do understand this story is primarily about Alice, I feel like the emotion of her family could have been better portrayed. It felt like a lot happened throughout the story, while at the same time, nothing happened at all.
I read somewhere that this book was self-published by Lisa Genova and I felt this could also have influenced the flow of the book. While I take my hat off to anybody who not only writes a book, but turns it into a bestseller and an award-winning film, I do feel that some guidance would have helped. I would like to have read the story in first person narrative and delve more into the thoughts of an Alzheimer’s sufferer.
Overall, Still Alice is worth a read and most likely I am in the minority with my slightly negative review. I will certainly pass my copy around in the hopes that others can get something from the story that I didn’t.
Have you read ‘Still Alice’? Let me know what you thought.