I very seldom give books five stars. While I usually enjoy reading the book, there's always something that I feel could have been better, could have captured me more, expressed feelings differently, or something. So far, in 2010, Still Alice is one of just a few books that I have given five stars.
I had this book on my TBR list as a book that was to be read for one of my IRL book clubs. We moved it back a couple of months because it was such a new release, and I just couldn't wait so I put it on hold at the library. Two months later, I finally was able to pick it up. This is the debut novel by Lisa Genova.
The book is about Alice Howland, a fifty-year old published professor of psychology at Harvard University. She travels the world, giving lectures, attending seminars, and is even the advisor for a Ph.D. student working on his dissertation. She is happily married to another Harvard professor with three grown children. Alice is at the height of her career when she notices that she's starting to forget things, and not just little things either. She misses flights, classes she's supposed to be teaching, and various submissions on a professional level to speaking engagements across the country. In her mind, her forgetfulness has to do with menopause, but after seeing a doctor and a neurologist, it's confirmed that she has early-onset Alzheimer's disease.
This book is a beautifully written, heart-wreching tale of Alice's struggle to maintain her own independence while suffering from a disease that leaves her memories something to be desired.
I'd recommend this book to absolutely EVERYONE! It was that well written - and even now, after finishing 12 hours ago, I still can't get Alice's struggle out of my mind.