Monday, February 09, 2009

Lisa Genova's Still Alice ~ Reviewed

Still Alice (Paperback)
by Lisa Genova
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Pocket (January 6, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439102813


Genova gives us a hauntingly accurate portrayal of a young woman's descent into Alzheimer's Disease from the prime of life and the loftiest of cerebral heights.


I'm not sure how long this novel sat on my shelf. Four or five months at least. I started it once and put it down...not because it wasn't good, but because I knew that I was going to experience a journey.

Finally, I picked it up and fell into the story of a medical tragedy and the complex and changing life of a woman with early onset Alzheimer's Disease.

I work in an internal medicine clinic. We see patients who succumb to the process of dementia in all of its forms. It's a lot like watching a flower slowly wither and close into itself. Still Alice is poignant and as true to life as I can imagine and in my limited experiences.

Our visit into Alice's life begins with her vibrant life and right before her 50th birthday. She is on top of her game and is a respected professor/speaker at Harvard, in the areas of linguistics and psychology. At first, little things concern her, a lost word, confusion while doing something common. As her disease progresses readers watch Alice's mind change while she continued to fight to remain as she was.

This is not a light read. But it's an important novel and the story of Alice is one that is tragic, beautiful, poignant and honest. The wordsmithing skills of Lisa Genova make the book a pleasure to read as well.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

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