Told from the perspective of a Harvard psychology professor who suffers from Alzheimer’s, Still Alice chronicles the day-to-day struggle that she has to go through as a mom and professor who is at the peak of her career – to not be able to rely on her brain to do what she loves best and have it turned against her instead. A professor who gets handed down with one disease that wrecks the very asset that she values more than anything else – her intellect.
I can’t think of any other disease that has the ability to rob the joy, freedom and identity of a person as effective as Alzheimer’s. It’s a cruel sickness that eats away at your memories and everything that makes you, you. You might have the body of someone half your age and the vision of 20/20, but your brain afflicted with Alzheimer’s will render all of it useless. And Alice gets it at the age of 50, an early on-set version of Alzheimer’s. Talk about adding insult to injury.
Still Alice is a book that shows the triumphs and dark days of Alice straining to live her life as normal as possible and the effect this devastating disease has on the people around her. Lisa Genova has managed to create a great portrayal about the life of an Alzheimer’s patient, if I may say so, and she did so in a way that is compassionate and respectful. I finished my copy in two days and I have already felt the loss of it. I wish the book could be a bit longer to show how Alice’s Alzheimer’s progresses later in life. All in all, I highly recommend this book. I think I may just have found the next Jodi Picoult!