What Alice Forgot

Front Cover
Pan Macmillan Australia, May 1, 2009 - Fiction - 433 pages
3 Reviews

"She was floating, arms outspread, water lapping her body, breathing in a summery fragrance of salt and coconut. She had to squint through spangles of light to see her feet. Her toenails were each painted a different colour. Red. Gold. Purple. Funny."

When Alice Love surfaces from a beautiful dream to find she's been injured in a gym, she knows that something is very wrong – she hates exercise. Alice's first concern is her baby, she's pregnant with her first child, and she's desperate to see her husband, Nick, who she knows will be worried about her.

But Alice isn't pregnant. And Nick isn't worried. Alice is the mother of three children and her hostile husband is in the process of divorcing her. Alice has lost ten years of her life.

Alice's sister Elisabeth, who seems uncharacteristically cold, drives her home from the hospital. And home is totally unrecognisable, as is the rest of her life. Who is this Gina that everyone is carefully trying not to mention? Why does her mother look like she's wearing fancy dress? And what's all this talk about a giant lemon meringue pie?

In the days that follow, small bubbles of the past rise to the surface, and Alice is forced to confront uncomfortable truths. It turns out forgetting might be the most memorable thing that's ever happened to her.

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What Alice Forgot is the third novel by popular Australian author, Liane Moriarty. When Alice Love wakes from a strange dream on the floor of the gym, she has a terrible headache, and she’s a bit worried about her unborn baby. It’s 1998 and her first child is due in 1999. Except that everyone is telling her it is 2008, John Howard is not the Prime Minister and she is in the throes of an acrimonious divorce from her husband, Nick. That nasty knock on the head when she fell during her Friday step class has caused her to lose the last ten years of her life. As she gradually pieces together the basics of the last ten years, she discovers that 29-year-old Alice, sweet, innocent, funny, sometimes a bit silly and hopelessly in love with Nick has evolved into 39-year-old Alice, busy, bossy, occasionally bitchy, with an acerbic voice, who can’t stand the sight of her husband. She has three children whom she doesn’t recognise, goes to the gym (no way!) and eats healthy food. Her friends are similarly gossipy, bitchy school mums. Something’s gone wrong with her sister Elisabeth and her mother had remarried. The intriguing mystery of what Alice forgot is carried by three voices: a third-person narrative gives Alice’s point of view; a first-person narrative (in the form of a journal prescribed by her therapist) details Elisabeth’s observations; and a computer blog offers “grandmother” Frannie’s take on events. Moriarty’s characters are those you meet at the P&C or the gym; her dialogue is what you hear in the supermarket of the café; and the plot is completely credible, with a plethora of occurrences from everyday life. This uplifting novel touches on infertility, adoption, raising children, therapy, divorce, work-life balance, family relationships and trying again. Often funny, occasionally sad and totally captivating.  

Review: What Alice Forgot

User Review  - Goodreads

I truly enjoyed this book.....Alice and I have a lot in common though. She is a 39 year old mother that is busy, busy, busy. Volunteering at school, keeping up with household chores, birthday parties ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Liane Moriarty is the author of three novels, Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary and What Alice Forgot. All three of her novels have been published successfully around the world and translated into seven languages. Writing as LM Moriarty, she is also the author of the Space Brigade series for children. Liane lives in Sydney with her husband, son and daughter. You can find out more about Liane's books at her website: www.lianemoriarty.com.

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