“Still Alice” – Early onset Alzheimer’s is no joking matter

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!


About Anne Loughrey

I am an avid member of several book clubs and a prolific keeper of my books. I love to discuss books and hear what others think of books I have read.
This entry was posted in book clubs, books, lisa genova, still alice. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to “Still Alice” – Early onset Alzheimer’s is no joking matter

  1. Kim Jeter says:

    Although I enjoyed Still Alice, I did find it a bit disturbing, particularly because of the age and education level of the main character. It just goes to show you it can happen to any of us!!

  2. molly andersen says:

    I really liked her voice through the book. I am looking forward to discussing it tonight! One of my questions is, “What would you do if you noticed a coworker or showing signs of memory loss?”

  3. Ann says:

    I put Lisa Genova’s latest book on our possibilities list – It’s called “Left Neglected”. It’s about a woman, who after an accident doesn’t recognize anything that happens on her left side, and how it effects her life.

    And to follow up on your “Unbroken” question – don’t you think I’d do great on a raft in the middle of the ocean? Stop laughing!!!

  4. Kim, I agree with you. I think her occupation made this even harder to accept! Molly, I love it that you brought this up last night. A very good question too! Ann, I just finished Left Neglect and actually I liked it better than Still Alice. And YES, my friend you would survive on a raft!

  5. Peggy "Alice" says:

    Loved that book! My 11 year daughter picked it up after me and liked it also. Hey, I found your Twins tickets! Let’s go! 🙂

    • Wow, your 11 year old read it? That’s pretty amazing. As much as I try I can’t get my kids to read much at all and they really aren’t open to MY books at all. I can’t wait to meet you and hit that Twins game!

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