Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Alice is twenty-nine. She is whimsical, optimistic and adores sleep, chocolate, her ramshackle new house and her wonderful husband Nick. What's more, she's looking forward to the birth of the 'Sultana' - her first baby.

But now Alice has slipped and hit her head in her step-aerobics class and everyone's telling her she's misplaced the last ten years of her life.

In fact, it would seem that Alice is actually thirty-nine and now she loves schedules, expensive lingerie, caffeine and manicures. She has three children and the honeymoon is well and truly over for her and Nick. In fact, he looks at her like she's his worst enemy. What's more, her beloved sister Elisabeth isn't speaking to her either. And who is this 'Gina'everyone is so carefully trying not to mention?

Alice isn't sure that she likes life ten years on. Every photo is another memory she doesn't have and nothing makes sense. Just how much can happen in a decade? Has she really lost her lovely husband for ever? 

Oooh ~ did you read the blurb? Alice is whimsical, optimistic and adores sleep, chocolate, her ramshackle new house and her wonderful husband Nick. Don't you just LOVE her already? 

Before my review, here's what Liane has to say about writing this book (which is in lieu of me composing my own synopsis, haha):  
I had always wanted to write a story about time travel but I found the logistics made my head explode. Then I read a story about a woman in the UK who lost her memory and behaved like a teenager – she didn’t recognise her husband or children. I realized that memory loss is a form of time travel. So I came up with the idea of a woman, Alice, who loses 10 years of her memory. She thinks she is 29, pregnant with her first child and blissfully in love with her husband. She is horrified to discover she is 39, with 3 children and in the middle of a terrible divorce. It’s like the younger Alice has travelled forward in time. Readers tell me that what they liked best about this novel was how it made them think about the choices they’d made and wonder how their younger selves would feel about the lives they are leading now. (from Liane's site)

I know (!) I ADORE time travel novels as well (and amnesia stuff) ~ and the whole concept of this one is just so brilliant ~ travelling forward to meet yourself ten years in the future. sigh. And while a premise like that could get complicated and messy ~ it didn't ~ it's written so effortlessly with that genius Moriarty touch where all the plot threads come together just so cleverly.

It's not just the concept that had me falling COMPLETELY in love with this book.

It was pretty much EVERYTHING that has me gushing about it:

The writing. Oh ~ yes, Liane Moriarty is the sister of my fave YA writer, Jaclyn. They both have a GIFT with words. They write in a whimsical style which just has you loving the turns of phrase and sentiments. It's prose you can sink into and sigh about. it's also funny-clever-delicious writing. I am in awe and envy over the prose.

The characters. Liane is like some kind of anthropologist. She GETS people and their quirks and finds tiny truths in those little moments as if she's been inside your own head (and in your kitchen during the mad morning scramble).

Mostly ~ I ADORED Alice and all her family. Nick is the kind of HOT male lead that has you swooning one moment and completely in love with him and then the next he is an absolute douche bag, but it's his flaws that make him all the more endearing and real to life. The family scenes were stunning ~ I could read those kinds of anecdotes all day. I honestly fell in love with Alice's children ~ just delightfully done.

The mystery ~ things unravel as we try to discover along with Alice just all the things that happened in the ten years she lost. Some you can guess and others will surprise you. 

It's this whimsical blend of fun (sometimes incredulous, but none-the-less cool) but also has a deeper meaning under it all that makes you stop and consider your life and your priorities and all that stuff. 

Perhaps similar in concept to Sophie Kinsella's Remember Me? But whereas Kinsella's is commercial, stereotypical rom-com (a fun, guilty-pleasure kind of read), What Alice Forgot is gorgeously written, and a story that will resonate. (and just, you know, far superior in every way, haha)

I really couldn't put this book down and I love it hard.

Liane Moriarty is my favourite chick-lit type writer. And not only is What Alice Forgot one of my fave reads this year ~ it's on my list of all time fave books.

Recommended: this is one for people who love their chick-lit well written, breezy and fun and also a little bit deeper at heart. Also for fans of Jaclyn Moriarty who are looking for an adult read :D

ALSO: the film rights to this book recently sold (!!) It's going to be BRILLIANT!

OH! and the grandma has a blog and ARGH it's truly hilarious ~ and the comment section is laugh-out loud funny and there's even a commenter who's a secret admirer. Too funny. (very reminiscent of some of the blogging in Jaclyn Moriarty's Dreaming of Amelia)

Liane Moriarty is an Australian author and an international best seller. 
Her books are available internationally :D
Liane's website
What Alice Forgot @ goodreads

some international covers:

AND, unrelated to the review, I am going camping tomorrow (wahoo!) so will not be on-line for the next week ~ catch you all when I get back :D


  1. Another book added to my wishlist because of your wonderful review! I had no idea that Jaclyn Moriarty's sister is also a writer so I look forward to reading this book. I'm always on the look out for chick lit recommendations. So far, I love Jennifer Crusie and Julie James. I know that Sophie Kinsella is really popular but I didn't really like her stuff.

  2. Thanks for this review, Nomes! I'd been wondering about Liane Moriarty's books as I'm a big Jaclyn Moriarty fan, but wasn't sure what her sister's style was like. I really like the amnesia angle of it and the writing and characters sound fabulous so I think I may give this one a try, despite being a bit wary of most chick-lit. Clearly these sisters have some awesome writing genes :D

  3. Now I need to go find this!

    Loved your review, it made me all giddy and excited for the book.

  4. You are going to send me broke! I have an urgent need for this book now after that wonderful review.

    Love all the covers too :)

  5. Another fabulous review, Nomes! I have been dying to read this book. I like Alice already - just by reading your review!

  6. While reading the summary, I thought about a 1986 movie that sounds very similar Peggy Sue Got Married. Like you I enjoy time travel and amnesia stories so I would probably enjoy this. Thanks for the review!

  7. Great review. Not only did you get me to add this book to my pile but also to look up information about the movie. :) BTW, I love a few of the covers to this book. Thanks for the review.

  8. Oh I need this now! I had wondered what her sister's books were like and they sound wonderful - adult JM books - yay!

    It sounds exactly what I want to read right now - and it's available internationally - woo-hoo!!!!!

    Thanks for the review.

  9. I MUST have this book now. I had no idea it's by the sister of Jaclyn Moriarty - that right there is enough recommendation for me ;)
    Fabulous review and this one sounds pitch perfect.

  10. Holy cover love!

    I don't read much chick-lit, but WAF sounds like one you shouldn't pass up!

    Have fun camping! Toast some marshmallows for me. ;)

  11. Ah, I think I need this book now! Nomes, I'm so with Nic here - you are gonna send me broke! I'm literally adding every book you review to my wish list. I'm glad this is available internationally! :)

  12. Oooo! Looks like a good one! I want to read this.

    Great review.

  13. This sounds awesome. I thought I'd be a little leery reading something by JM's sister, thinking that I'd expect too much or be disappointed that she wasn't writing like JM. BUT - it kind of sounds like the two sisters are really similar. It's been a long time since I've read an adult book, maybe this would be the kind to get me back into that. :)

  14. What gorgeous covers, Nomes!

    I've read Remember Me and I liked it (so typically Sophie Kinsella), but I think this is going to be so much quirkier. I've come across a couple of Liane Moriarty books but I haven't read them yet. Maybe I have to change that :)

  15. OMG an all time favourite read and *squeal* I love Alice just from reading your review (sleep, chocolate ... what's not to love!) Going on my wishlist immediately, ... nah dont think I can wait ... think I might just have to order this one. Thanks for your gushing review Nomes :)

  16. Have a lovely time camping!
    Oh, thanks! I'm glad you like my Writers retreat, it's truly an awesome writing/inspiration spot, especially with Hes and Bob there!

  17. This book sounds great! I'm definitely adding it to my list! Awesome post and thanks for following my blog :)

  18. OOH I'VE WANTED TO READ THAT SINCE I FIRST SAW IT! I really love those kinds of books too. So glad you enjoyed this. Will definitely move this along on my mental to-get list. :P

  19. I'm a fan of time travel stories as well, but didn't realize it until I read The Time Travelers Wife. It was so well done, it made the surprises joyful and the 'jumps' not overly confusing.

    I'll have to give this one a read!

    Thanks for the beautiful review, as always.


  20. Your reviews are always so lovely. Thanks for sharing. I am dying to check it out!

  21. Oh I just love reading your reviews!! I saw the UK cover recently, it's probably my favourite, not being biased here. Promise! :D

  22. I like the third cover best, because it has a special dreamy look. The German cover contains a nice symbol to go with its title with the flower on it:)


Thanks for the commenty love :)