I shudder to admit how many times I have forgotten something and jokingly blamed it on “early Alzheimer’s”. Just tonight, I tore apart my kitchen in search of lost Twins tickets I joked about it.
Lisa Genova’s debut novel, “Still Alice”, is the first person account of Alice Howland’s fight against this disease. The novel opens with Alice Howland, the Harvard professor and mother of three going out for a run and soon realizing she has forgotten her way home. Is her forgetfulness because of a mini stroke? Menopausal symptoms?
Told from Alice’s perspective we learn of the disease’s progression through the reaction of others: her children, co-workers and husband. One of the biggest questions she faces is who to tell and when to tell them. She fears that all will be changed once her secret is out and who can blame her? As the book progresses the reaction of others to her news is very telling.
There are 5.2 million Americans who suffer from Alzheimers disease and 5 to 10% of them are 65 years old or younger. I am sure our own forgetfulness or that of our parents will be a hot topic for my Bloomington book club when we discuss this book tomorrow. The ladies in that club are smiling at you at the end of this post.
A quick note about the author, Lisa Genova. She is a Harvard-trained Neuroscientist and and in her words “an entirely untrained writer.” This debut novel was SELF published but quickly was picked up by Simon and Schuster and became a new York Times Bestseller.
And by the way, in case you are wondering, I still haven’t found those Twins tickets. Doggone it!