Still Alice: A Touching Alzheimer’s Story

March 11, 2010 at 5:30 pm Leave a comment

image This week, while wandering the aisles of the local big-box store, I ran across something unexpected. Tucked in among the true-crime and romance paperbacks was a blue and white cover that caught my eye.

The title, “Still Alice,” made me pick it up, and  review quote from USA Today made me buy it.  “ A poignant portrait of Alzheimer’s… Not a book you will forget.”

Originally published in 2007, “Still Alice” is author Lisa Genova’s fictional story of  a brilliant woman with a bright career, three grown children, and a strong marriage.

And then she gets Early Onset Alzheimer’s.

In her fifties.

Although the topic is difficult, it’s an easy book to read, and Alice is easy to love.

As her disease progresses, that doesn’t change.  She and her family wrestle with the challenges, frustration, anger and choices that must be made because of this disease that changes everything, but yet, somehow, amid all of her frustration and loss, Alice is still definitely, defiantly Alice. That never changes.

For those of us familiar with Alzheimer’s and brain fitness, her story reinforces what we know.  That it’s very scary.  That exercise, nutrition, intellectual stimulation, sleep, medication – all of it helps, but none of it stops the disease.  That  family members try to understand, but don’t always succeed.  That the things that help this week, may not help next week.  And that one difficult decision after another must be made, because the disease will not wait for us to be ready for it.

And yet, somehow, by the time I’d finished the book last night, I was left with more hope than sadness.   Alice has left me with a deeper understanding of the challenges these patients and their families face, and the curious gift I’ve encountered again and again as I learn more about the disease – that somehow, as tragic as it is, Alzheimer’s can have a way of revealing secrets of life and identity to us that we might otherwise never know.

So if you haven’t read it yet? I highly recommend it.
And if you have, pass along your copy to someone else.

USA Today was right.
It’s not a book I will forget.

Find more information, notes from Lisa Genova
(the author)  and even a discussion forum, check out
the author’s website:
http://www.StillAlice.org/

Entry filed under: Be Mentally Active, Uncategorized. Tags: , , .

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About This Blog


A healthy mind and brain is key to a healthy, active life. Come along for the ride as we explore the basics of brain health, with topics including:
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Authored by Tori Deaux
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