Still Alice by Lisa Genova has been on my list of books to read since it was published in 2009. Recently, the audiobook version of the book arrived at the Davenport Public Library and I eagerly checked it out. I wanted to read it before I watched the movie version of Still Alice, which stars Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth and Kristen Stewart. The DVD of Still Alice is available at the library too.
Still Alice is the story of a Harvard psychology professor named Alice Howland. Alice specializes in linguistics. She was a student at Harvard and has taught there for over two decades. Alice met her husband John at Harvard where he is a professor of biology. They have three grown children: Anna, Tom and Lydia. Anna is a lawyer and Tom is a doctor which makes Alice very proud. Lydia refuses to go to college and is pursuing an acting career. Alice worries about Lydia’s future which causes tension between mother and daughter.
At a conference, Alice begins to have trouble remembering words. She notices other problems with her memory and consults with her doctor. Still uneasy after her doctor visit, she sees a neurologist. Alice is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.
It is quickly apparent why this novel was a best seller. This brilliant scholar slowly begins to lose her memory, her lifestyle and her sense of self. I believe that listening to this book on audiobook was more powerful since I could hear the doctor diagnosis Alice with Alzheimer’s disease and I easily imagined what it would it would be like to be Alice. The majority of the book is filled with conversations between Alice and those around her so this book made an excellent audiobook. Alice and her family learn to make adjustments in their routine and adapt to Alice’s changing mind. Even though this book is heartbreaking it is also a beautiful story of strength and the human spirit.