Back in Time

Title: What Alice Forgot

Author: Liane Moriarty

Genre: Romance/Contemporary

No. of pages: 476

Rating: 4/5

Buy it here!

Girl: "OMG, hey!! I haven't seen you for so long"

Me: "Hi, I know its been a while"

Girl: "You look so different! You weren't like this before, you've changed..."

This is a conversation I have so many times with old school friends, family members who haven't seen me for a while or general passers-by that like to give me their opinions. I always find that statement odd "you've changed". Like I should remain the same two-dimensional person my entire life. When people tell me I've changed, I usually reply with "I hope so!"

I have been through so many different eye-opening experiences, met so many cool and interesting people so I really hope that I am learning and developing every day and that I'm not the same as I used to be in secondary school. People are so afraid of change, and to some extent so am I, but change is always good. It gives you a chance to try something new, to see something from a different perspective, to meet someone new and all these experiences are going to be life enriching. 

Your experiences make you who you are and it is possible that if you could see the kind of person you were going to become in 10 years time you would be shocked. You may be disappointed with yourself or be excited by who you've become. But what if you don't recognise yourself?

This is exactly what happens to our protagonist Alice, who take a fall at the gym and forgets the last 10 years of her life. Albeit, it is for only a couple of days but the memories she is missing are vital to her life and how it functions. She can't recognise herself, or her family members and she can't remember even having children. All she knows is that she's woken up into an alternate reality where she is a busy organised mum of three, going through a messy divorce with the man she loved and realising that the sister she once shared everything with will now barely speak to her.

Can life change that drastically in 10 years?

The answer is yes, it can.

Throughout this book, we are on a journey with Alice who is trying to get her memory back and understand who she has become and why. She is able to use her innocence to look at her problems from a different perspective which both helps and hinders her. Alice is such a loveable character and we live through the experience with her which is both exciting and frightening at the same time.

Liane Moriarty is such a brilliant writer, she really conveys Alice's emotions so clearly that I was experiencing those emotions of fear and sadness along with her while I was reading. The book is sort of split up into three sections; section 1 where Alice realises shes lost her memory and understands who she is; section 2 Alice tries to live her life according to how she used to; section 3 Alice tries to fix her issues and eventually gets her memory back. For me, section 2 was the slowest and dragged slightly only because it overlapped with the first and last sections. 

There are also 2 other small storylines with Alice's sister Elisabeth and Alice's adopted grandmother Frannie and we get to read the perspectives of both these characters. Elisabeth's story was beautiful and heart wrenching and her perspective was always very truthful. I found Frannie's perspective pretty useless, to be honest and I can't really see the value it added to the story. 

Overall I would highly recommend this book. It's all about learning about yourself, self-love and acceptance; something that I feel a lot of us regularly forget since we continuously feel the need to explain our actions to those who don't really matter. This book taught me to look at myself critically but also trust in my instincts.


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