Book Review – Still Alice, by Lisa Genova
This book is an amazing work of fiction, depicting the life of a Harvard psychology professor who’s diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. The main character, Alice Howland has built up an impressive career for herself, she’s written books, been a keynote speaker at countless events and has mentored many in her field.
I loved the fact that the story was written from the prospective of Alice. It makes the journey from a fully functioning brain to full onset Alzheimer’s that much more vivid. The way Alice describes the daily happenings in her life is spot on to how the disease takes its toll.
This book stirred up some questions in my own life. Such as, if you could be tested for the genetic mutation that causes Alzheimer’s, would you? Two of Alice’s children got the test done, one did not. I think I would group myself with the child who did not get the test. For many reasons, I don’t would not want to know.
I fully understand the ravages of this disease, having seen both my grandfather and father cecum to it. As of yet, there is no cure for it. So I consciously try to live my best life being as healthy and happy as I can, hoping Alzheimer’s is not in my future.
I’m not sure I would recommend this book to a reader who has someone with Alzheimer’s disease in their life. This story is a very real portrayal of the disease. I had to stop reading a few times because it was just so sad.
BUT, for writing a compelling story that needed to be told, I give Still Alice 5 out of 5 stars. But be warned… This story might hit a little too close to home.