Day 153: Book Review: What Alice Forgot
The concept of ‘What Alice Forgot’ is simple ... Alice falls off her bike during spin class and forgets the past ten years.
While the story starts off alright, it quickly falls apart. Not only isn’t the story going anywhere, but writer Liane Moriarty has seen fit to include all kinds of letters from family and friends to Alice’s doctor into the story. These letters are full of blah blah blah and contribute nothing.
Not only is the story of What Alice Forgot not going anywhere, but it’s full of holes.
Alice and her husband buy a house, a fixer-upper. After the purchase, they don’t have a penny to their name and they have no renovation skills, yet someone the house gets restored to its former glory, including a pool in the backyard.
Alice is a stay at home mom, and there is no mention of what her husband does for a living, yet somehow they seem to be able to spend money like water.
Alice is a completely unsympathetic character. At one time she might have been an ordinary woman, but now ten years down the line, she’s nothing more than a gym bunny with not a thought in her head. Her life revolves around pretty outfits and preening herself in front of her mirror so she looks perfect – just to take the kids to school.
Her intelligence is at an all-time low. She's divorcing her husband and is in a custody battle for their three kids. Rather than being worried that she could lose her kids, Alice prefers to think of the custody battle as a custard battle during which she flings bits of custard at her husband.
One must actually wonder if Liane Moriarty is familiar with the concept of divorce. She describes the proceedings as that her husband will walk away with nothing and let Alice have everything. Nowhere does she touch on the sale of the house. Given that the mortgage on the house is only ten years old, who will make future payments? Not Alice, because she doesn't have an income and I doubt her ex will go on paying for everything.
Not that Alice doesn’t have a plan. The ink on her divorce papers isn’t quite dry yet but she’s already set her sights on another guy, the school principal.
When Liane Moriarty talks about other characters in the book, it’s clear she’s obsessed with babies, you could call her baby crazy. When Alice’s sister fails to get pregnant and stay pregnant, Liane Moriarty blatantly advertises IVF injections. Never mind that these hormone injections are proven to an increased risk of breast cancer due to high levels of estrogen.
Another character in the book states ... “I had all my kids through IVF injections.” All her kids? How many kids does she have ... 3, 5, 7?
Is this what Liane Moriarty thinks of her female readers, that they aren’t happy and fulfilled women unless they have a couple of kids hanging off their skirt? And is she really telling women that, if they can’t conceive naturally, they should risk getting cancer as long as IVF injections give them that baby?
Not that Liane Moriarty character Alice seems to be an expert on raising kids. Her eldest daughter is a terror with little or no manners, who takes rudeness to her parents and siblings to a new level. Her son is a know-it-all, who seems to think that he rules the house. As for her youngest, she's barely more than a toddler but according to Liane Moriarty, she choreographed her own ballet performance.
Safe to say, I gave up on What Alice Forgot, I just didn't care anymore. While some writers agonize over creating the right story it seems Liane Moriarty wrote this on her kitchen table. This isn't writing, this is a bunch of senseless dribble.