I have found that some books that I read I can't classify as books I really enjoyed for that would be the wrong sentiment. These books tend to fall under the category of "I'm glad I read it and I'm richer for having read it". Still Alice is one of those books.
This book was so disturbing to me but I was so oddly compelled by it at the same time that I couldn't put it down. I had to keep reading to find out what happened to her.
Alice is a 50 year old college professor who has early onset Alzheimer's disease. Having been a woman who prided herself on her ability to remember, Alice narrates her own journey into the literal loss of her mind.
“And I have no control over which yesterdays I keep and which ones get deleted. This disease will not be bargained with. I can't offer it the names of the US presidents in exchange for the names of my children. I can't give it the names of state capitals and keep the memories of my husband.
...My yesterdays are disappearing, and my tomorrows are uncertain, so what do I live for? I live for each day. I live in the moment. Some tomorrow soon, I'll forget that I stood before you and gave this speech. But just because I'll forget it some tomorrow doesn't mean that I didn't live every second of it today. I will forget today, but that doesn't mean that today doesn't matter.”
Yes, this book is heart breaking and yes, at times very difficult to read but the writing and telling are excellent. Well worth a little uncomfortableness.
“She liked being reminded of butterflies. She remembered being six or seven and crying over the fates of the butterflies in her yard after learning that they lived for only a few days. Her mother had comforted her and told her not to be sad for the butterflies, that just because their lives were short didn't mean they were tragic. Watching them flying in the warm sun among the daisies in their garden, her mother had said to her, see, they have a beautiful life. Alice liked remembering that.”
"I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, "
Jeremiah 17:10 NIV Bible