Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: Still Alice pt. 2

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At the beginning of all of my posts from now until December 31st I will be including a link to my Dressember fundraising page. I will also be sharing facts about modern day slavery. Today’s fact: Human trafficking generates approximately $150 billion dollars a year (information was found here).

Here is the link to my fundraising page if you want to join me in helping exploited women experience freedom.  Part of Dressember is just starting the conversation, but another large part is raising money to help Dressember’s partners carry out rescue missions. Just $200 dollars helps with the immediate needs a woman has when she leaves a trafficking situation. Whether or not you make a donation, start the conversation!

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still aliceThis morning I got out of class twenty minutes early and it gave me just enough time to finish Still Alice before I had to go to my next class. If you haven’t read my post introducing Still Alice you can find it here.

Wow.

Still Alice is a powerful read. I will not give details about the plot away but I will talk about the structure of the storyline, proceed with caution!

Still Alice is told from Alice’s point of view which gives the reader a front row seat to everything that is going on in her mind. You see her vocabulary and descriptiveness change as the book, and her Alzheimer’s, progresses. You are also present for moments of disorientation where you either feel disoriented or you’re screaming (in your head or maybe out loud 😉 ) at Alice telling her what is happening.

One of my favorite realizations in this reading was learning that Alice is not always the most reliable narrator. In the beginning the decline is slow but she’s also pretending to be more together than she is in reality. This left me torn for the rest of the book trying to determine is this really happening or is this her reality. It gave me an appreciation for not always knowing all the details but accepting the world as we perceive it.

I think that is what added the wow factor to this book. That it gave me a new sense of reality. One of her doctor’s even tells her, “You may not be the most reliable source of what’s been going on” but instead of knowing what is really going on we get a look inside her mind. A lesson from this reading is that every narrator has faults, it is something I remember being taught in the eighth grade but I had pushed aside until this book. All first person narrators will have a bias, they will bring their own emotions into what they choose to describe and what the choose to omit. For a book like this that is the biggest style choice the author had to make and I think she hit it out of the park.

The last thing I feel compelled to mention is that this book is endorsed by the National Alzheimer’s Association. The author also mentions that she does not know any other books that have received this honor. When I’m reading a book like this one of my main concerns is what if they don’t do it right. But Genova certainly did her research, at the end of the book she shares that people with Alzheimer’s and caregivers have told her that she did it right. She was able to put their experiences and emotions into words.

 

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