10 June 2011

Imprint Friday: What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Welcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Amy Einhorn Books. Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your wish list.

I admit that the back-of-the-book tag line of Liane Moriarty's What Alice Forgot was the first thing that caught my attention: "Finally, a smart woman's beach read." Doesn't that make you want to know more? Then I took a look at the summary and decided I had to read about Alice:

Alice Love is twenty-nine years old, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child. So imagine her surprise when, after a fall, she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! she hates the gym!) and discovers that she's actually thirty-nine, has three children, and is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce.

A knock on the head has misplaced ten years of her life, and Alice isn't sure she likes who she's become. It turns out, though, that forgetting might be the most memorable thing that has ever happened to Alice.
Fun, yes? Well, okay, not fun if that actually happened to you, but still, poor Alice! Can you imagine thinking you're ten years younger than you are and having no recollection of your kids or how you went from a loving marriage to one full of tension and bickering? Through humor and an easy-to-read style, Moriarty gives Alice a chance to reevaluate her life and take a fresh look and what she has forgotten.

Beneath the Hollywood-like premise, though, Moriarty explores deeper themes, such as infertility, infidelity, friendship, parenthood, and family. What Alice Forgot may be a light, fast read on one level, but it will also make you think about your own life and what you may have forgotten, even without the amnesia.

I was curious about how Moriarty came up with the idea for Alice and went exploring. I found the answer on her website. The basis of the novel combines the author's interest in time travel with a real-life news story about a woman who had lost her memory. Moriarty says, "I realized that memory loss is a form of time travel." I like that thought and what it brings to the book.

I'm pleased that I'm not the only one recommending What Alice Forgot; here are a few other opinions (click on the links for the full reviews):
  • Alyce, from At Home with Books, notes: "All in all it is an entertaining and thought-provoking book about how relationships and parenthood can define us and change us over the years."
  • Gayle, from Everyday I Write the Book, notes: "[T]his was . . . a surprisingly satisfying book on some deeper levels. I found the unpeeling of the story of why Alice's marriage had fallen apart to be pretty compelling."
  • Swapna, from S. Krishna's Books, notes: "It isn’t your typical woman-gets-amnesia, realizes-she’s-horrible, mends-her-ways novel; instead, Moriarty presents a carefully crafted and moving portrait of one woman struggling to understand who she is."
Amy Einhorn Books is a featured imprint on Beth Fish Reads. For more information about the imprint, please read Amy Einhorn's open letter posted here on January 25, 2010, or click the Amy Einhorn tab below my banner photo. To join the Amy Einhorn Books Reading Challenge, click the link.

What Alice Forgot at an Indie

Published by Putnam / Amy Einhorn Books, June 2011
ISBN-13: 9780399157189


Heather 6/10/11, 6:12 AM  

"Moriarty says, "I realized that memory loss is a form of time travel." I like that thought and what it brings to the book."

I like that thought as well. I'm suddenly glad this is in for me at the library!

Beth Hoffman 6/10/11, 8:44 AM  

I'm fascinated by the premise of this book and just last week added it to my TBR list. Thanks for the added insights.

Have a terrific weekend!

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) 6/10/11, 8:59 AM  

I really need to get my hand son this book. I love the concept and reading the authors notes on it only makes me more interested. Cool stuff!

bermudaonion 6/10/11, 9:12 AM  

The reviews of this book have me really excited about it. I can't wait to read it!

Julie P. 6/10/11, 9:31 AM  

Loved this one. Just wrote my review this week and it's going up next week. Great summer book!

Rachel 6/10/11, 10:25 AM  

I LOVED this book. It held me hostage for two days - I could not put it down!

Meg 6/10/11, 10:27 AM  

Very excited to read this one, especially after all the glowing reviews -- it sounds great!

Zibilee 6/10/11, 11:08 AM  

I really want to get the chance to read this one, and have been reading great reviews of it all over the place. The premise is more than intriguing to me. Thanks for sharing it here today.

Audra 6/10/11, 1:24 PM  

I haven't seen this around but I might pick it up -- I do love that idea of memory loss as time travel. I'm reading Camille Noe Pagan's The Art of Forgetting which has some similar themes -- a woman has severe memory loss from a car accident, and as a result her best friend has to remind her of their long friendships -- the good and bad bits -- and decide if she really wants this woman as a friend.

Anette 6/10/11, 1:50 PM  

This sounds like a book after my taste! Thank you so much for sharing! Hugs from Anette in Norway :)

Dorte H 6/10/11, 2:14 PM  

You certainly succeeded in making ME curious.

reviewsbylola 6/10/11, 7:17 PM  

I hadn't realized this was an Amy Einhorn book. I definitely think it sounds like a fun pool read!

Jenners 6/10/11, 9:46 PM  

I really enjoyed this book -- it is a smart woman's beach read. And I did notice the Amy Einhorn imprint ... and I thought of you!

caite 6/11/11, 4:53 AM  

although I have little interest in time travel..unlike the author...I think it sounds like a great premise for book.

Swapna 6/11/11, 10:06 AM  

Thanks for quoting my review! You know I loved this book, so I'm happy you featured it!!

natalie @book, line, and sinker 6/12/11, 9:14 AM  

argh! i was *just* at the bookstore yesterday and had this one in my hand but put it down and grabbed a memoir instead. does this only happen to me? i pass on a book only to see it pop up everywhere! lol. this sounds like a perfect summer read and i'm going to pick it up when i get back to the bookstore. love these imprint fridays--they are worth all the time and effort because i can always count on you to recommend something i know i'll enjoy!

Leslie 6/12/11, 9:49 AM  

I've seen this recommended on several blogs now. Adding it to my read soon list, especially now that I know it has a time travel element, which is a favorite theme of mine.

Alyce 6/13/11, 2:23 PM  

Thanks for the mention! I loved this book and appreciated that it wasn't a typical amnesia story.

Jennifer 6/14/11, 4:18 PM  

Love the premise of this book and thinking about memory loss as a form of time travel. It sounds brilliant. Definitely putting this one on my TBR list. Thanks for such a lovely review.

BookGeek 6/16/11, 12:51 PM  

I read a few pages of this book online posted somewhere online. It was great!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 6/19/11, 6:56 PM  

I'm eager to read this one. I was worried that it might be a little Jodi Picoult-ish, but your review has reassured me that it will not be.

Alice Teh 6/28/11, 9:44 AM  

The next time I see this in the bookstore, I'd get it. Better for it to be in my personal library than out there. LOL! I really like the sound of this one.

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