Monday, July 18, 2011

Book Review -- "Still Alice" by Lisa Genova

I read this book with apprehension because I'd been warned -- don't read this unless you have a full box of tissues next to you.

And they were right.

This novel is about an esteemed Harvard psychology professor who finds out she has early-onset Alzheimer's Disease.  Convinced her diagnosis is wrong (maybe it's a brain tumor, maybe it's due to menopause), she has genetic testing done, and finds out without a shadow of a doubt -- she has Alzheimer's. 

The book is written by a neuroscientist, and since I studied microbiology in college, I was able to follow the sometimes technical aspects of the discussions of drugs and drug trials and genetic markers.  However, those bits didn't detract from the compelling parts of the book -- Alice's relationship with her husband and three grown children, her coming to terms with herself beyond being a Harvard professor, and then ultimately, her rapid descent into dementia.

By the the time I got to the last twenty pages of the book, I was reduced to gasping tears.  I mean, I'm a total sap and OFTEN cry at the endings of books, but this was one difficult book to read.  It's an important book, though, and while I won't say it's a beach read, it's certainly one I'd recommend you read.

Just grab a box of tissues first.

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.


  1. I loved this and Lisa's second book, "Left Neglected"!

  2. Sounds interesting, but it seems like I'd have to prepare myself from crying. Were the medical terms very technical and hard to understand?

  3. I just finished this one and I recommend it too. I didn't have any problem following the scientific part.


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