Still Alice was a game-changer for me
Shortly after I let coworkers know that we were grappling with Alzheimer’s disease in Mom’s life, a friend gave me this book written by Lisa Genova. Since then, I have read it two times, listened to it on Audible once, bought many copies to give away to others, and I’ve seen the movie!
Lisa Genova has a degree in Biopsychology and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University, and she is a master storyteller. She weaves together the account of Alice Howland, a Harvard professor, who finds herself facing a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s at just fifty years old. From the beginning, Genova allows the reader to walk in Alice’s shoes, experiencing the diagnosis and life afterward, through Alice’s eyes.
The book truly changed everything for me. I finally understood that the memories I was trying so desperately to pull to the surface of Mom’s mind were simply gone. I would never be able to bring them back. Maybe this isn’t an issue for others on this journey, but it surely was for me. I wanted so badly for Mom to remember! After reading the book, I was finally able to let this go. This relieved so much pressure, not just for me, but for my parents as well. I so wish I had learned it sooner!
A Must Read
If you haven’t read the book, please do. If you don’t want to buy it, look for it in your local library. It will be time well-spent. It was actually made into a movie in 2014, starring Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin. Julianne Moore won an Oscar for her role as Alice Howland. It’s impossible to get all the details from a 200-300 page book into a two-hour movie, so I always think it’s best to read the book first. In this case, if you don’t want to read the book, go ahead and watch the movie.
Actually, since Genova wrote Still Alice, she has written several other books, all on neurological diseases and disorders. I have read all of them, except her new one, Every Note Played, which I have ordered. It is amazing how she inspires and educates readers through fiction. I recommend all of her books – all are fascinating.
But…read Still Alice first!
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