What Alice Forgot – by Liane Moriarty

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Though this book sits decidedly in the league of “light beach reads,” it hits a home-run for the genre. The main character, Alice Love, is highly likeable. When we meet her, she is 29 years old, happily married, and pregnant with her first child. The next thing we know, she’s waking up passed out on the floor of a gym, only to discover that it’s 10 years later. She’s 39, and due to the ever-handy plot vehicle of “amnesia,” cannot remember the past decade of her life.

It’s as though 29-year old Alice has been teleported into the future, setting a tone of Back-to-the-Future meets Desperate Housewives. It’s interesting to observe Alice remark on the changes her family members have gone through. Her mother has remarried, trading homeliness for a fresh spark of sexy pazzazz. And Alice’s new step-father is none other than her father-in-law. Meanwhile, Alice’s once happy marriage is now in shambles. And her sister — once a best friend — has become cold and distant.

Alice is tasked with piecing together the fragments of her life, and figuring out who it is she has become over the past 10 years. While the story-line sounds fantastically contrived (it is), the personality of the characters have a genuine resonance … at least for the first 80% of the book. Moriarty ties up the ending with a Hallmark bow, snipping away any loose ends that might antagonize readers who thrive on closure. The conclusion is  a little too conclusive in my opinion — even for the standards of a beach read.

All in all though, this is a highly entertaining book. It’s no wonder that it’s slotted to become a feature film, according to the Syndey Morning Herald. Rumor has it that Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman will be taking on the lead roles.

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