Still Alice…

I’ve one Chapter left.

A chapter where I’m unsure if, after finishing, I’ll be the same.

This weekend, Fancy and I traded a few books and I posted a photo on my Facebook Page, asking which one I should start with.

It was pretty much unanimous…”Still Alice” seemed to be a favourite, however, it was my author friend Alison, with her comment of “it was tough but terrific,” that made me realize it wasn’t going to be “light and fluffy.”

So here I am…a dozen or more pages to go…and…well…remember on the show Friends? When Joey was scared of the book “Little Women” and hid it in the freezer? Remember when he finally started to read it and discovered Beth was sick and then this happened…

That’s me.

Never before has it ever happened when reading a book…never before have I felt this amount of discomfort…never before have I wanted the book to “go away.”

Until today, I’ve never wanted to hide a book in the freezer.

I’ve learned much from Lisa Genova’s “Still Alice.” Much about Alzheimers Disease and those living with it. I’ve been put inside Alice’s head and felt her frustrations. It’s beautifully written with poignant moments…terrifying, heartbreaking…full of life and love. I’ve been amazed at how descriptive the author has been about this horrific disease to the point that I can “feel” Alice. I’m “in” Alice.

I’ve laughed. I’ve cried. I’ve curled my toes as ideas have formed…as I’ve realized, before Alice has, that it’s all going wrong. I’ve slammed the book closed more than once…to catch my breath.

Tonight…when my kids are in bed…when riding is over and I’m home from the rink…when they’re long asleep and I’m tucked into bed…I’ll finish.

Where, in the quiet of my room…I can face the panic that I feel is coming. Where I can taste the profound sadness and deep understanding that I know will hit me. Where I can take the time I need to fully absorb what’s unfolding…words on the pages that are stuck in my throat.

Either that…or I’ll hide it in the freezer.

10 Replies to “Still Alice…”

  1. There is so much I could add here (my father and mother-in-law passed away within two months of each other earlier this year from Alzheimer Disease) but I agree that “Still Alice” is a very hard book to read, especially when you have loved ones suffering from the disease. Many times I felt both drawn to read more of it, and others when I wanted to put it away. I highly recommend it though. It gives great insight into the disease.

    • Within two months of each other Anne! I’m so sorry to hear. It’s definitely an eye-opener of a book. We can all learn from it. My grandfather had Alzheimer Disease and I truly wished I’d known more back then.

  2. I’m an American cousin of yours….Still Alice was one of the most amazing books I have ever read! You never feel the same way about the disease again.

    • YAY for American Cousins!!! It was an amazing book for sure. I normally forget a book as soon as I read it…but I have a feeling this one will stick with me for awhile.

  3. All of Lisa Genova’s books that I have read have been so well written in my opinion. She tackles subjects that challenge you to understand more.

    Left Neglected is also a great read.

    Happy Monday everyone 🙂

  4. Thank you for having the courage to read Still Alice and for posting this truly amazing review of it! Beautifully written. I hope you were able to get to the last page without too many trips to the freezer. Love that episode of Friends! 🙂

    Best wishes and many thanks,
    Lisa Genova

    • Thank you Lisa. With the exception of the ice I needed for my Gin and Tonic, I managed to not need the freezer for anything else! The final pages were absolutely perfect…I shed tears, but overall, I felt a sense of “living” and “happiness!”

      I now have “Left Neglected” on my reading list but I’m thinking I need a wee little break before attacking it.

      Thank YOU…for writing a book that opened my eyes.
      I am forever changed.

  5. This book is so powerful, and you will never think of Alzh. again in the same way. You need to read Left Neglected by her next!