Month: March 2015

Lost Between the Lines…

I am admittedly the Kathryn who may be a tad more on the “dead inside” end of the spectrum. Rarely do movies, books, songs, etc move me at tears.  That being said, while Still Alice is a very poignant look into the interworking of a family as a disease tears them apart physically, mentally, and emotionally, I felt somewhat disconnected from it.  Perhaps some of that disconnect was intentional on the part of Lisa Genova who writes in a decidedly third person perspective on a deeply personal disease.  Perhaps we are meant to feel like outsiders as a way of sharing in Alice’s disconnect from her life, forced to be an outsider by her disease.  Then again, perhaps I am over thinking it. Looking back, I didn’t really love the writing style. Very staccato and foreshortened, it made for an easy read.  Similarly, Genova did not spend much time expanding on somewhat played out archetypes in her characters.  There is the daughter that is passionate but rebellious. There is the daughter that is straight and narrow but kind of a …

Crying on the Beach

I read Still Alice over the course of two days while on vacation during my spring break from teaching. I know – not quite the beach read you’d expect. It felt a little awkward crying on the beach while everyone around me was enjoying the sun and sand, but it was worth it. I appreciated the pacing – it was such a fast read, and I loved the perspective of the novel as well as some of the storytelling devices that Genova used to really show Alice’s view. Specifically, the repetition of chunks of texts, sometimes whole paragraphs – it really places the reader in Alice’s shoes. For example, at the lunch lecture, you feel through Alice the awareness that something is off, but experience the lack of awareness of what that is. Don’t get me wrong – it can be uncomfortable to have an understanding as the reader that the narrator does not have, but it was a very interesting, eye-opening, and in many ways necessary approach to telling the story of Alice. It’s interesting that Genova …

Put Your Tissues Away But Keep Reading

My hunch is I’m one of the few who feels the way I do about this book. Let’s see if I’m right… Admittedly, until we chose this as our March book I wasn’t going to read it. Mainly because the idea of this happening to someone I love made me want to ignore anything having to do with it. Plus, after hearing what a handful of my friends thought of “Still Alice,” my fears of this being an emotional and heartbreaking read were only amplified. So I readied myself with a box of tissues, a few hours of privacy, and got to reading. But I was actually surprised by how unemotional it left me. As someone who cries easily, I expected to be more moved by Alice’s story and have spent some time trying to figure out why I wasn’t. I think a big part of it is because it was told from her point of view, we didn’t experience much of how the family was affected. And with this type of disease, that’s arguably the …

Intense, But Hopeful

Our first review is up for Still Alice! Here’s Katherine C’s review of Still Alice: I liked this book a lot. I’m hesitant to say loved, it’s not really the kind of story you can love (let’s be honest, it’s sad). But I really enjoyed Genova’s writing style, the characters and the way she told Alice’s story. It’s hard for me to separate my experience reading this book from my experience with Alzheimer’s disease. So first I’ll share a bit about my experience…

{Still Alice} Discussion

The Bookly authors have all shared their reviews of Still Alice… and now here’s a look at their book club discussion. We hope you’ll join in and add your comments, too!  What are your thoughts on Genova’s writing style and how she captures Alice’s experience with Alzheimer’s disease?   KC: I thought the book as a whole was a really fast read, and Genova’s writing style wasn’t too heavy or over-complicated. And I thought it was an interesting format… telling the entire story through Alice’s perspective. It would have been easy for her to jump to another character at the point where Alice’s memory really deteriorates. But I loved that she stuck with Alice the whole way. KD: I think overall the writing was a bit simplistic but that suited the tone of the book. I did appreciate the little nuance that as much as Alice begrudged Lydia for not living in reality – that the further she slid into disease the more it was like Alice was an audience member watching her life as a play. …