What Alice Forgot is a great novel for audio, due in large part to the wonderful narrator, Caroline Lee.
Lee’s lilting, open Australian accent is critical to understanding Alice’s character. The 1998 Alice is wonderfully innocent, quirky and enthusiastically in love with her husband.
The 2008 amnesiac Alice, who is living ten years in the past, is, in her own mind, still that person. She gradually begins to put together the puzzle of her new identity. To the listener, it’s almost like a mystery. You wonder who the new Alice is and how she got that way. Like Alice, you’re also relying on what people are telling Alice, and no more. Both Alice and the reader/listener are frustrated when it seems other people are withholding information.
Liane Moriarty’s breezy style keeps the story light, while delving into the darker sides of Alice and her family’s journey over the last decade. Life has gone on; there have been births, deaths and marriages. Alice confesses to her sister that she has no idea how to feed and take care of her children, or any children for that matter. She speculates that a diet of sausages would probably be popular.
Elizabeth, her older sister, is a great foil; she had always been Alice’s protector and support which allowed Alice to be the funny, spacey one. One of the mysteries is why they had grown apart. The many well-drawn characters make this rather long audiobook absorbing to the end.