Sunday, 15 May 2011

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (2/5)

The back says: Alice wakes up on the floor of the gym with a nasty bump to her head, thinking she’s still a fun-loving twenty-nine-year-old starting life with her gorgeous husband and pregnant with their first baby.

To her disbelief, it soon transpires the fall has knocked ten years from her memory and she is actually an uptight thirty-nine-year-old whose idea of a good time is a three-hour workout followed by committee meetings with the kind of women she used to despise. How on earth did her life come to this? And more disturbingly, how can she not remember giving birth to three children? Why does her husband suddenly hate her? And what can Alice possibly have done that means her beloved sister will barely speak to her?

Seeing herself through fresh eyes, Alice barely recognizes or even likes the person she has become. Can she ever find her way back to the woman she used to be?
I say: This book. Ugh. It’s Samantha Who (which I, by the way, can’t stand) but without the gorgeous and talented Christina Appelgate and Jennifer Esposito.
I thought that this was going to be good, in that cheesy light-read chic lit kind of way, which, right there, was the problem, because I hate those kinds of books.  I’m always drawn in by an interesting plot and then always find myself completely annoyed with everyone and everything.
And that is exactly what happened with this novel.
It starts off innocently enough. The writing isn’t much to write home about, actually, it was painfully bland. And I hate saying that because it sounds so cruel, but it was. The thing that first caught my annoyance was that completely randomly, without any reason whatsoever, we’re exposed to Alice’s sister, Elizabeth’s, letters to her therapist.
I mean, come on.
And then was her grandmother’s blog posts. Complete with commentaries. I think it was meant to be cute, and, quite frankly, I was more interested in reading the comments to the blog than the actual story.
I think that Moriarty thought that by giving us glimpses into these two other women’s lives, she’d be giving a clue as to why Alice turned out the way she did, but it was just so distracting. And not just because I was so completely and utterly uninterested in Elizabeth’s life, but because it seemed like a lazy – or easy, I haven’t quite decided which, yet - way to tell the story. Almost as if Moriarty didn’t know how to properly write the story in only Alice’s voice and had to use these two as props.
Also, I felt cheated, because I cannot stress enough how little care I had for Elizabeth. If I had read a summary of a book about her problems, there’s no chance I would have read it.
In the beginning I was interested in Alice’s life and her discovering who she was. That lasted until page 42. This I know because there’s a quote there that I wrote down, but won’t bother sharing because that would just be mean-spirited. Then I kept reading just to read. Then I put it aside because I was bored. Then I picked it up again. Then I put it aside.
This is how it went until about halfway through when I decided that I would just finish the thing in one go and be done with it.
All 487 pages.
And so here I am writing this and desperately trying to find nice things to say, and failing. I just didn’t like it.
At all.
Ugh, I’m bored just writing about it. I really want to give this 1/5 (which I’ve only given one book since I started grading books) but that seems cruel. So, I won't. And yes, I do realise that me pointing it out is pretty much the same as me grading it as such...

I feel very passive-aggressive today.

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