Alice has worked her entire life to get where she is as a linguist and Harvard professor, but with a single diagnosis, all of it was taken away — early onset Alzheimer’s. Alice isn’t dying from the disease, she’s living with it. And every day seems to bring another end — an end to her career, an end to her daily jogs, an end to her relationship with her children. She has to learn to let go and live the best she can, for as long as she can.
Still Alice was well worth the read, though I can’t say I would classify it as “enjoyable.” Reading about a woman’s deterioration from successful to unaware is hard to do. The book reminded me of those I have known who have struggling with debilitating illnesses, including Alzheimer’s. And to be honest, it was rather depressing to watch someone lose so much, with absolutely no power to stop it.
But I am glad I read the book. It is well written. It is a thought-provoking glimpse into the life of someone who is faced with an unimaginable future. And, told from Alice’s perspective, it gives the reader a small sense of what it must be like to live it.
I would definitely recommend Still Alice as a book just about everyone could benefit from reading — whether illnesses like this have been a part of your life or not. If nothing else, it will give you a renewed respect for families suffering through disease, and it will hopefully give you an extra dose of compassion for those experiencing such devastating diagnoses.