Still Alice, reviewed by Terri from the brand new blog The London Book Blog. You can find just about anything to do with books on my blog; reviews, photos, quotes, new releases, the good, the bad and the ugly. I just want to read books, write books and sniff books. I love books. I'm also from London - books + London are a good combination, right?
'I can't stand the thought of looking at you someday, this face I love, and not knowing who you are.'
When Alice finds herself in the rapidly downward spiral of Alzheimer's disease she is just fifty years old. A university professor, wife, and mother of three, she still has books to write, places to see, grandchildren to meet. But when she can't remember how to make her famous Christmas pudding, when she gets lost in her own back yard, when she fails to recognise her actress daughter after a superb performance, she comes up with a plan. But can she see it through? Should she see it through?
Losing her yesterdays, living for each day, her short-term memory is hanging on by a couple of frayed threads.
But she is still Alice.
I was initially attracted to this book because my lovely Nan is suffering from Dementia and the two diseases, Alzheimer's and Dementia, fascinate me. Actually, I'm not sure if they fascinate me or sadden me but I know that they both have an affect on me. That's really the main reason I picked up this book. I found it really easy to get into, as well, which I really like about a book.
The main character is a fifty year old university teacher who has a really hectic lifestyle. She's always travelling, teaching and trying to spend quality time with her husband. She first begins to realise something isn't right when she goes for a run on her usual route and finds that she can't figure out where she's ended up, even though this is the route she always runs. A more eye-opening part of the book sees her enter a house she believes is her own only to find it isn't when she begins rearranging her kitchen cupboards to 'how they used to be', and the person who owns the house finds her and takes her home.
Without telling you the whole story, she knows she has to do something because she knows that one day she's not going to remember the faces of the people who love her. She decides to visit her doctor who diagnoses her with Early Onset Dementia. Her Doctor suggests a medical trial which could see a revolution for Dementia patients which Ali isn't keen on at first but decides to go with it. She also writes herself a note explaining that if she cannot answer all of the questions, with no hesitation, on that note then she is not of sound mind.
Throughout the book, we witness a downward spiral of Dementia and how it affects not only the person suffering from it, but their family, friends and loved ones too.
Still Alice is quite a sad read but I think it's good to read if you have a loved one suffering from this terrible disease as it allows you glimpses into their mind and you realise that their behaviour and words are not their fault. It is an extremely relate-able book that will never leave my bookshelf.