Lisa Genova is a neuroscientist – a pretty simple explanation as to why I hadn’t heard of her before. Still Alice, her debut novel, tells the story of Alice, who is diagnosed with early on set Alzheimers.
The novel manages to remain emotional throughout, with Alice’s mind being unravelled slowly with each month/chapter, which leaves her questioning who her own family are – she refers to her husband as ‘a kind stranger’ in the latter stages.
Genova’s knowledge in this area is evident, making the diagnosis seem more realistic and debilitating – especially as we tend to here the disease discussed in front and over Alice, rather than directly to her.
What I enjoyed most about this book is that it ended in a way that let Alice remain herself – something she wanted from the beginning. It didn’t focus on the bitter end, her inevitable death, or the way her family handled it. It ended on a high. She was still Alice.