Thursday, July 25, 2019

Back Jacket Hack Job - What Alice Forgot

Hey there, readers! It's my turn for a back jacket hack job - a feature which I haven't done in AGES here on Across the Board. Basically, it's my take on what the blurb could/should be vs the blurb on the back cover. 

Today's feature - WHAT ALICE FORGOT by Liane Moriarty. You might know Liane Moriarty from BIG LITTLE LIES (which is a phenomenal book, haven't seen the HBO series) and THE HUSBAND'S SECRET, which is considered to be her breakout novel.

I admit, I read WHAT ALICE FORGOT blind. I was looking for women's fiction and my online library had this one available. I'd liked other books by Moriarty, so why not this one? Little did I know how much I would love it.

If YOU read the blurb, you know from the very beginning that Alice takes a fall at the gym and wakes up thinking she's 29 and newly pregnant, not 39 with three kids and on the verge of divorce. Her story is about rediscovering herself against the Alice she remembers (her 29-year-old self) vs. the Alice she's become by 39.

If you read MY Back Jacket Hack Job blurb, it would go something like this:

Don't start this book without time to dive into the story, because without giving yourself time to read the first few chapters in one sitting, you might give up and that would be a travesty. (Spoiler alert: I started this book one night when I was tired and couldn't read more than a few pages. Same the next night. I almost quit reading thinking I just wasn't into it. Turns out I was just super tired.) And Alice in the first couple of chapters is a little hard to connect with. She's just woken up in the hospital and is confused at the timeframe, which made ME confused as well. Again, I was super tired. I don't think this is a problem for well-rested readers.

The story is what the original blurb describes - but so much more. Because Alice ten years ago is really different than the Alice of today, but the relationships she has with her sister, her kids and her ex-husband, in particular, are colored by those ten years. And they don't reflect so well on Alice.

Without being all spoilery - let's just say that as a woman who used to be ten (or twenty) years younger, newly married and child-free, it was eye-opening to see the ways Alice had changed, and the ways her interactions with family and friends had become so different. Strained. It's understandable - looking at it objectively - but Alice wonders if it's inevitable. And you will too.

I don't want to give away anymore of the plot, but I think this story will resonate if you're a mother, especially. So, tell me - have you read WHAT ALICE FORGOT? Did it make you stop and think? Do you find yourself still thinking about it, even weeks after finishing? Or is that just me? (Tell me it's not just me!) And if you've read it, would LOVE to chat about it on the comments.

1 comment:

Carrie Beckort said...

I did read this, but it was about 4 years ago so I don't remember all the details. I did love it though. From what I remember, your hack covers it pretty well!

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