Alice falls off a stationary bike in a gym and as she comes to, she can’t figure out what she’s doing in a gym, who these people are all around her or how it got from 1998 to 2008. From there, she has to begin piecing together the last ten years of her life.
Like how she got from being the enthusiastic mom-to-be enthralled with everything about this developing little baby to a mother of three who doesn’t seem to relate very well to that little baby now that she’s ten years old.
Or how she went from being securely and madly in love with her husband to an impending divorce and ugly custody battle.
Or why her relationship to her sister is so strained.
Or who all these annoying people are that all appear to be her friends though she doesn’t really like any of them.
And what on earth was she doing at a Friday spin class, anyway?
As the book progresses, I began to wonder what it was that Alice actually forgot. Sure, she forgot ten years of her life. But forgetting all the little sleights and disappointments begins to heal the relationship between her and her daughter, almost saves her marriage and brings her sister back into her life.
Alice forgets everything and the shattered pieces of her life begin to fall back together. Perhaps ten years had led Alice to forget what it was like to be 29, in love and happy. Perhaps ten years of stress and little hurts and busyness had made her forget how to be in love and how to be happy. But just as I started to hope that she would carry some of this perspective with her when her memory returns, it all comes flooding back. And we find out why all of these relationships have become so complicated. And why it isn’t so easy to just forget about the last ten years in order to start over.
And I don’t want to say much more because you really should just read it. The ending is perfect. I think it is the best ending to a work of fiction that I’ve read in a long time.
If you are interested in discussing this book, jump in on the discussion over at the BlogHer book club!
By Liane Moriarty
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date: 9/20/2011
“This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.”