A Book a Day, Day 28, Still Alice

A Book a Day, Day 28, Still Alice

“A capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others.”   – President Abraham Lincoln


G is on his first field trip without me.  They don’t like parents to go at this new school, so here I sit while he spends the day at the apple farm. This morning when I told him I couldn’t go he told me he would miss me and that made me happy/sad.

I am limping in to these last few days of this challenge.  Even with a book as great as Still Alice by Lisa Genova it was hard to drum up excitement for taking the time to listen and read it.  I finished it at 11:40 last night.  I’m even less motivated today, so I chose a different kind of book hoping it will energize me.  The good news is that tomorrow when I finish my book I will reach my Goodreads yearly goal of 61! Yay 🙂

Last year I saw the movie with Julianne Moore and really liked it, even though it was sad.  I knew the book had been well received by bloggers but it sat on my shelf for years.  This is one of the few times when I think the movie held up well. Yes, the book was better and had more nuance, but the movie and Moore’s performance were spot on.  It was also a good time to read it since we just visited Cambridge, where this takes place, last week.  Interestingly, I enjoyed the audio even more than reading and found myself wasting time in the kitchen just so I could listen.

What’s it about – A well-respected 50 year old Harvard professor is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.  There is a fast decline and family relationships are tested.  Her husband, just as in the movie, made me want to hit him even though I could see his pain too.

What did I learn – Before I saw the movie I hadn’t really known that people got Alzheimers so young.  The book provided even more details about the choices of treatment and support (or lack of, really).  I also had no idea that there was a gene that you could be tested for and was surprised that her daughter could use in-vitro and eliminate the risks of passing it on.

Who would love it – Anyone who loves or has loved someone with dementia or Alzheimers would appreciate the insight.  I think anyone, like myself, who enjoys a great story even if it’s depressing.

7 thoughts on “A Book a Day, Day 28, Still Alice

  1. I just watched the movie and thought it was really well done. I’ve also had the book sitting on my TBR shelf for years. I really need to get on it. Congrats on getting through the whole book in one day. Amazing!

    1. I started listening to it in the car last week before we went to Boston so I was about 50 pages in to start the day. I do think the book added just enough extra to make it worth reading even if you liked the movie.

  2. It is depressing but you never know what life will throw at you. I haven’t watched the movie. I did read the book and recommended it early on to the people who cared for both my parents and the support groups that ran at both places. This was not long after the book was published and before the movie. Now, almost everyone knows about STILL ALICE. It helped me imagine some of the thoughts that might have been in my Dad’s head or reasons for his behavior. Both my parents were in their late 70’s-early 80’s when their diagnoses occurred, so there was no early onset. Plus, all the kids in my family are adopted, so no gene testing. That being said, at the same time my Dad had Alzheimer’s, 3 of his first cousins were also diagnosed. And my mother told me that my Dad’s grandmother was decidedly ‘odd’. She said that when she first met her, when Mom was in her teens, that the grandmother scared her. The family didn’t really hide her, but she was distressed by big family events. She almost certainly had Alzheimer’s. Said all this to say that it’s a good book for people dealing with this condition. It’s hard and terrible and stressful to all. But it’s not the end of the world. There are bits of joy and pleasure. And much, much love. I miss both my folks. 🙂

    1. Wow. I didn’t realize so many of your relatives were diagnosed too. I’m glad that you liked it, given your personal experience, it makes me fell better about recommending it. We don’t have anyone in our family that I know of. Alzheimers is bad enough but to get it when you’re in your 40-50’s at the peak of your career or family raising, I can’t even imagine.

  3. This was such a hard read for me. I can’t bring myself to read the movie. Alzheimer’s, including early onset, has impacted my family as has Vascular Dementia which bears some similarities to it.

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