"Still Alice" by Lisa Genova - 4
Rating Scale: 1 – Didn’t Finish. 2 – Meh. 3 – Kept my interest, but probably wouldn’t read again. 4 – Would Recommend. 5 – LOVED IT! Added it to my list of favorites!
I'm a big Stephen King fan. I love being scared to death while sipping a cup of tea. :) Usually, though, when I read a horror novel, it is for the pleasure of escape from reality through fantastic situations. "Still Alice" is a horror novel that could truly become a reality. The only reason I didn't give this book a 5 is because I didn't couldn't actually enjoy reading about a horrific situation that could easily happen to anyone I know, including myself.
This book had me crying from the beginning. "Still Alice" is about a woman in her 50's who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. It is so incredibly moving to read about her experiences from the perspective of the sufferer. I've read books or watched shows about Alzheimer's before, but they've all focused on what it is like for the families of those stricken with the disease. This is the first time I've ever really considered or empathized (through Genova's writing) with the victim. I suppose I've always thought about how awful it must be to have to care for someone who didn't recognize you, but "Still Alice" brings you along on Alice's downward spiral. It's incredibly sad, disorienting and disturbing, and if nothing else, makes you so grateful to be of sound mind and body.
One of the major plot lines in the book involves Alice's family's decision to undergo genetic testing to see if they have inherited the gene for Alice's disease. I always find myself pulled into stories like this. How would I react? Would I make the same decisions as the characters? This is a very Picoult-esque dilemma to me. If given the opportunity to find out if you're a carrier of a gene that would, in all likelihood, rob you of the very memories that comprise your life, would you do it? Would you take the test?