Sunday, December 28, 2008

Still Alice

Still Alice

Lisa Genova

5 out of 5

One of my favorite books this year. I highly recommend this touching story of Dr. Alice Howland and her very personal journey into Alzheimer’s.

When Dr. Howland, a decorated Harvard professor starts having slight memory lapses she chalks it up to menopause, what else could it be, with her schedule she doesn’t have time for much more, that is until the lapses are more frequent and more terrifying.

With her husband a Harvard Research Scientist they explore the possibilities and medical trials with each wanting to take a different approach. What ensures are a couple of heartbreaking discoveries, laughter and the healing of old wounds. But what is lost is what makes this book so remarkable – Alice takes you on her own personal journey though this disease and you see it from the inside, from the person and not just the textbook. When she makes the comment of -- how can you remember what you have lost when you can’t remember what had you had-- just brought the whole thing home for me. What if you can’t remember the person you once were and the people that had meant so much to you?

Near the end of the book Alice gives a speech to the Dementia Care Conference that is just heartbreaking. For that one moment in time, she is once again the Alice Howland that her friends and colleagues know, love and respected. For that one moment in time she is Still Alice.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

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