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on 28 May 2010
When Alice Love wakes up on the floor of her gym, the last thing she expects is to be told she's a 39-year-old mother of three in the middle of a divorce, particularly since Alice thinks she's 29-years-old, happily married and pregnant with her first child. It appears that Alice has had a large bump on the head and has lost the last ten years of her life. As Alice comes to terms with the fact she's not who she thinks she is, she realises she doesn't like the woman she has become. Can Alice recapture the spirit of her 29-year-old self and more importantly, can Alice recover her memories of the last 10 years of her life?

What Alice Forgot is very similar to Sophie Kinsella's tale Remember Me?, but Remember Me? is a much lighter affair (it's Sophie Kinsella after all) and What Alice Forgot is a far deeper (and longer) tale. That's no bad thing, though, as I loved both books and they both suit my tastes. Because 29-year-old Alice believes that she's happily married and pregnant with her first child, and also that she and her sister Elisabeth are close, it comes as a series of shocks to her when she realises she has three actual children and that not only does she not remember having them, she doesn't remember them period. To then learn herself and Nick, her husband, are on the brink of divorce and also that Alice and Elisabeth are as close as the North and South pole, was quite sad to read - to believe you're 29 and to suddenly age 10 years must be a pretty scary thing and Liane Moriarty managed to bring across Alice's anguish perfectly. To have three children and not even know who they are was obviously a little controversial - how can she not know her kids? - but that's the power of amnesia, it makes you forget the most simple (and important) things.

What really made the book for me though was Alice's realisation that her 39-year-old self wasn't a nice person at all. She was nothing like the 29-year-old free spirit, in fact she was the total opposite. So it was easy to see how Alice and Nick's relationship disintegrated. Alice turned into a total control freak, it seemed, and it just tore them apart. The ever-mysterious Gina certainly didn't help Nick and Alice's marriage and I was stunned at just how ferocious Nick was the first time he and Alice talked after her accident. It was clear that something had gone seriously wrong in Alice's life, something that caused her to become uptight, to argue with her husband and to practically lose contact with her beloved sister. All is revealed but not quickly. No where near quicky, in fact. A flashback or a loose mention of a name awakens something in Alice's memory and so we learn a tid-bit of Alice's life as it is now but never enough to truly hold on to. It was a very clever way of letting us all know what had happened and it certainly kept me reading.

The book is told in third-person, which I wasn't expecting, but it works well so it wasn't a problem. It's all from Alice's point of view, too. But as well as the usual narrative, there are also diary/journal type entries from Elisabeth, which confused me at first, but it soon makes sense, as well as blog entries from Frannie. All three women are experiencing troubles, some more serious than others and it was interesting to get their take on things. I particularly enjoyed Elisabeth's diary entries, they were insightful. Overall I really loved What Alice Forgot, it is certainly one of the better amnesia stories out there and I hugely enjoyed all of the 496 pages. I hugely recommend you pick this one up, as you won't regret it.
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on 11 August 2012
I REALLY enjoyed this book. I'm not a chick lit sort of girl and was a bit concerned this would be just pages of text and a half hearted attemt at a 'story'. It's not. From start to finish, this book entertains. Essentially there's two characters-sisters whose lives we follow through some difficult times. The author tackles painful and difficult issues without the reader feeling that it is too bleak to continue to read. The characters are entirely believable and very 'human'. I found myself asking myself how I'd feel, how I'd react as Alice finds out that she's become a short temperered, strict parent and generally unkind person.

So much better than I'd expected. The author writes beautiful prose and captures human emotions as well as I've ever read.Definately a book that will do the rounds of family and friends!
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on 28 July 2010
I absolutely loved this book - it should come with a warning because I literally could not put it down. I felt that 29 year old Alice was someone I would love to know, and 39 year old Alice was not - although I know a few people like her! It really made me think what it would be like to completely lose 10 years of your life - and how my life, opinions and attitudes have changed over the last 10 years.
I thought the way that the story was revealed to us at the same time as it was revealed to Alice was great and had various ideas about who Gina was and what part she had played in the break up of Alice and Nick's marriage.
I also loved the children, and was really glad that we found out what made Madison react in the way she did. The relationship between Elisabeth and Alice, both then and now was very true to life.
I can't wait to get my hands on both of Liane Moriarty's previous books but if they are anywhere near as good as this one I'll need to ensure I've got a clear day - or prepare for a long night of reading!!
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on 11 July 2014
Having read the husband's secret by the same author I was eager to read another of Moriarty's books. Where the husband's secret is a page turner, what Alice forgot is a yawn. Very slow pace and predictable. I think I actually need a pat on the back for completing the book (skipping a few pages I must admit). Not recommended by me anyway.
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on 23 February 2014
Imagine waking up and finding that it is no longer 1998 like you think, but 2008 and you have lost 10 years of your life. Suddenly you are mum to 3 scary children about whom you have no knowledge, your husband who you adore actually hates you and you are in the middle of an acrimonious divorce, your friends and your sister no longer seem to want to know you, and the people who claim to be your friends are the sort of people you would have been intimidated by in your previous life. Well that's what happened to Alice Love when she fainted in the gym and bumped her head one day (and that's another thing what was she doing in a gym the old Alice doesn't "do" exercise).
This book follows Alice's efforts to rebuild all the damage done in the past decade, while desperately trying to remember the events that had led up to the damage being done in the first place. The story flowed beautifully and I didn't want to stop reading ...just a few more pages to find out what she does now, oh no now I need to know what she does next. I kept thinking about how I would fee if I couldn't remember who my children were, if I had forgotten all those precious memories we have created over the years.
This is a really lovely read, and I would highly recommend it. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author
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on 3 March 2016
After reading The Husband's Secret, I went on to buy several of Liane Moriarty's books as I liked her amusing writing style and her true-to-life observations. What Alice Forgot is the second book of hers I have picked up and as you may have gathered by the number of stars I have meanly awarded it, I did not like this one.

So what's so bad, I hear you ask? Where do I start.... The whole knock to the head and forgetting a chunk of your life has been done so many times before - sometimes successfully, other times less so. This one definitely falls into the latter category. The writing style jumps from one person to the next, from past events to present day, which quickly becomes irritating. The characters are not particularly likeable. The author goes off on a tangent at times, which is hugely annoying, a bit like someone who likes the sound of her voice too much and thinks she's funnier than she actually is. But the worst part was that 80 pages in, we'd learnt nothing at all, other than she'd had a knock on the head, and she'd forgotten her three children. There is a lot of repetition: "do you not remember..." "No..." and people staring worryingly at poor Alice, which is incredibly frustrating and gets boring after the second chapter.

I am sorry to say I didn't finish this book (I didn't even get close to finishing it), as it was winding me up something chronic - there was just nothing good about it, no redeeming factors to make me want to persevere. Nothing at all.

I just hope the other two Liane Moriarty books that I eagerly went and ordered - Three Wishes and Big Little Lies - are in the same league as The Husband's Secret, otherwise they'll be coming soon to a charity shop (perhaps near you).
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on 19 November 2015
It started really well but the interruptions in Alice's story really annoyed me. I put up with them to start with assuming other people in the book would either add more to the story or go away - they didn't and I found that tedious. This is the second of Liane's books I have read and thought that she needs to learn how to stop writing or get a better editor but she does have some good story ideas which is what made me finish this book with a few skin read pages.
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on 22 June 2010
What Alice Forgot is Liane Moriarty's third novel and the first of hers that I have read. The first page of this book describes Alice having the accident that causes her amnesia. By doing this the reader initially only knows of the Alice from 10 years ago and we find out alongside Alice about the woman she has become in that time. I wasn't sure if I would find the idea of a character losing 10 years of their memory believable. However, the way in which the author threw in little snippets of memories triggered by smells or sounds etc. made it seem far more realistic.
I liked the old Alice much more than the bitter person she had clearly become. I kept turning the pages because I wanted to know what had happened in order to change Alice's personality and outlook on life so drastically. Liane Moriarty's writing style is excellent, she reflects this feeling of amnesia on to the reader. We are in the same situation as Alice, trying to grab on to tiny strands of information in order to see the bigger picture.
The press information that came with the book suggested that it would appeal to women of all ages and I have to completely agree. It really does make you think about the person you were 10 years ago and the ways in which you have changed.
I did really enjoy this book and it held my attention throughout. It's great that it leaves you with a lot to think about and I would definitely recommend it.
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on 12 June 2016
When Alice falls over at the gym and hits her head, she wakes up thinking it's 1998, ten years earlier. She's shocked to discover she's no longer a newly-wed expecting her first child, but a mother of three going through a messy divorce. Her family and friends are all different, and nobody seems prepared to explain to Alice just what has happened in the last ten years to change her as a person and to put such a strain on her marriage.

I liked this story, and although it stretched the imagination to believe that a woman with a head injury severe enough to wipe out ten years of memories would be allowed to leave hospital and take charge of three children she doesn't remember, while nobody offered to stay with her or help her fill in the missing chunk of her life, I enjoyed how it allowed Alice to rediscover herself and find a middle ground between the 29 year old preparing for her first child and the 39 year old obsessed with over-scheduling her children and spreadsheeting the next year of her life.

Liane Moriarty does what she is good at, again looking at some very difficult issues with kindness and humour, and of the whole book I found the other stories to be just as interesting. The pain and struggle of Elisabeth and Ben, Frannie's worries about losing control and her internet blogging to make sense of things.
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on 4 November 2013
Ok book but it doesnt really go anywhere - kept thinking Alice was going to remember some great mysterious memory - and it just didnt really happen. Also I thought the grandmas blogs were unneccessary and added nothing to the story.

After reading the husbands secret, which was an excellent read - so much better - by this author I was quite disappointed.
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