She is elite among elite, top of the ladder, world class- it gets beat to DEATH! The mere fact that it takes a progressive, terminal disease to make the reader care about her, confirms how objectionable her ego makes this character. While I have little doubt these people exist IRL, I don’t want to read about them. Not once does the audience have to find it difficult to support Alice, even when she acts irrationally. For anybody who has experienced the unimaginable truth of Alzheimer’s disease in reality, Alice’s story is painful yet important to watch. The sadness of watching a loved one’s mental decline is obviously sped up for storytelling purposes, and so months pass in mere seconds and we are often left confused as to the timeline, much as Alice herself is shown to be.
She dresses the way you hope to dress when you are a successful career woman who happened to have knack for studying the brain and being a natural writer. As my fifty-something mother would say, she looked like a “cool mum,” the one that I guarantee other mothers are envious of at the school gate. We sat down to talk after the press conference with the cast of the film Still Alice, herself and director Wash Westmoreland at the Crosby Hotel. She is admittedly an intimidating presence in the nontraditional sense, you immediately feel as though you could chit-chat with her about anything from the meaning of life to her favourite reality TV show. Then, mid-conversation, you are repeatedly reminded of how impressive her story is. A self-confessed balloon about to burst, Sarah miraculously manages every minute of her life like an air traffic controller.
Now, as she wills herself to regain her independence and heal, Sarah must learn that her real destiny – her new, true life – may in fact lie far from the world of conference calls and spreadsheets. And that a happiness and peace greater than all the success in the world is close within reach, if only she slows down long enough to notice. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life–and her relationship with her family and the world–forever. As she struggles to cope with Alzheimer’s, she learns that her worth is comprised of far more than her ability to remember.
Genova has a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard and is an online columnist for the National Alzheimer’s Association. From her lengthy acknowledgements, it is clear that she aims to give an accurate picture of living with increasing cognitive difficulties, and an educative exposition of the best treatment on offer for the condition in America today. A new edition of the classic novel from the author of ‘Left Neglected’, about a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease at the early age of 50. Now a major film starring Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart. Alice’s decline is rapid and brutal, Genova dates her chapters so the reader can see just how quickly the disease progresses over a period of two years.
Lisa Genova is the New York Times bestselling author of Inside the O’Briens, Love Anthony, Left Neglected and Still Alice. Her first novel, Still Alice, was adapted into an acclaimed Academy-Award winning film starring Julianne Moore. Lisa holds a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard University and travels worldwide speaking about Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury and autism. I bought this book after reading a review and seeing that the affliction from which the central character suffered was the same that affected my mother after her stroke. Ms. Genova put a face to a condition that is not well understood. I had some understanding of what was happening to my mother, but she was not able to articulate the specific effects.
When Wendy Mitchell was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 58, she had to say good-bye to the woman she once was. Her career in the NHS, her ability to drive, cook and run – the various shades of her independence – were suddenly gone. She was, and still is, propelled by a need to live in the moment, never knowing which version of herself might surface tomorrow.