Customer Reviews


 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life imitating art...in my own life
Alice Howland taught cognitive psychology courses at Harvard for over twenty-five years. Alice and her husband, John authored Molecules to Mind, she published papers, and lectured around the world. Her three children were grown and on their own paths (not that she was very happy about Lydia's choice of acting, but she hadn't given up trying to influence her to go back...
Published on Jan. 19 2009 by Mary G. Longorio

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars emotional rollercoaster
In reading this book, I got VERY angry and emotional. I hated this book; and for all the reasons I hate it, are the very reasons why this book is so excellent - for anyone who has watched a family member decline with dementia, or feared dementia in themselves, this book bravely examines it all, no holds barred. The author tried to examine the crumbling decline of the...
Published on Feb. 8 2010 by 30 something


‹ Previous | 1 216 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life imitating art...in my own life, Jan. 19 2009
By 
Mary G. Longorio "Texasbookgirl" (Eagle Mountain, UT) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Still Alice (Paperback)
Alice Howland taught cognitive psychology courses at Harvard for over twenty-five years. Alice and her husband, John authored Molecules to Mind, she published papers, and lectured around the world. Her three children were grown and on their own paths (not that she was very happy about Lydia's choice of acting, but she hadn't given up trying to influence her to go back to real school). Her son Tom was doing well in school, daughter Annie and her husband, Charlie are attorneys trying to conceive a first grandchild.

Facing a busy schedule and travel and everyday stress, Alice isn't concerned when she begins to forget little things, where the keys are, names of acquaintances or a momentary sense of disorientation. After all she is fifty and that is part of menopause. .

A trip to her family doctor to get some suggestions for cognitive memory reinforcement and to see if medication is available does not help. Alice is stunned to learn that she has Early Onset Alzheimer's and that there is not very much available for treatment. Telling her husband and children is even harder to face. Eventually she has to face the loss of her teaching and life's work.

"Still Alice" is Alice's voice as she struggles with the advancement of Alzheimer's. As the disease advances, she is living more in the now, and often hurt by her interpretations of family member's words and actions. She reacts with anger and confusion as her world shifts and becomes more unfamiliar and frightening. Her family also has to deal with their emotions. The realization that their funny, loving accomplished mother and wife is slowly disappearing before their eyes are devastating, and they each react differently. Alice tries to stay aware of what is happening, but has the disease advances her voice becomes quieter and briefer. Lisa Genova has a Ph.D in Neuroscience from Harvard University and works with several Alzheimer's organizations as well as serving as the online columnist for the national Alzheimer's Association. Although "Still Alice" is a work of fiction, it is apparent there is much drawn from real life experiences and observations. Genova has given a voice to a population not usually listened to. The characters are facing uncertainty and struggling with Alice's decent into unknowing. There are moments of hilarity as well as heartbreak. This book will touch anyone who works with dementia patients, or who has a friend or loved one with Alzheimer's. (early 2008)

1/19/2009

Less than a year later finds me, the reviewer, caring for my own father in my home as he succumbs more and more to his organic dementia. We have had to uproot him from his home in Texas to move into our home in Utah where either my husband or I can be with him around the clock. We moved into a house and I have drastically cut back on my work load. I keep looking back to the pages where Alice tries to describe her confusion and tries to frame what she wants from those around her so I can somehow meet those same needs in my Father. I fear I am falling short.....there is so much anger directed at me and my husband for moving him away. We couldn't transfer out jobs down to Texas and survive. Being over fifty we couldn't walk away from careers with tenure and pensions. Between my 7 other siblings there were too many teenagers (too much stress) too many young children (ditto) and a widowed sister looking for a possible husband. Oh, and the inevitable family conflicts. No matter how hard I have tried I feel I am falling short. "It's nothing personal, Mary....I like your brothers more than you" Dad hates it here, it isn't working. "One night I am going to walk right out of here and won't that be a surprise in the morning?' Dad often says the blessing at dinner and is sure to add "Please bless this food especially since Mary has cooked tonight" that is if he can manage to say all that before we all get the giggles and just say "amen". I work with this type patient everyday at my job and I still cannot make it work in my homecare for my own Father. I reread Still Alice as a roadmap. it is my best guide.....though the road is unknown and I feel completely unprepared to travel it. I have no choice I must keep moving on....
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars new insights, Sept. 27 2009
By 
This review is from: Still Alice (Paperback)
As a social worker, working with many individuals and families as they travel through journeys of living with dementia, I appreciated the new insights that this story brought to my understanding. I appreciated the insider's view of a woman living with dementia, as I find that in practice within the medical field, this so often becomes lost. Also lost in real life is a focus on what a person's strengths, abilities and beliefs are, despite the challenges and loses they are facing - in particular, Alice's daughter Lydia is still able to draw this out in relationship with Alice. I enjoyed a view into what Alice focused on during social interactions once her abilities to engage in fast paced dialogue had diminished - her eye to what people's non verbal communication was saying, what emotions she could read in others and how she looked at the textures/pieces of an environment in new ways. Overall,
I applaud Lisa Genova's effort to highlight the experience of people with early onset dementia and to lead us all to think about and remember that we are much more than our intelligence and ability to multitask that is so often over valued in our culture today.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOW UNPREDICTABLE LIFE IS!, Sept. 10 2011
By 
Janet B (Montreal, Quebec, CANADA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Still Alice (Paperback)
This is the story of Alice Howland, a brilliant 50 year old cognitive psychology Harvard professor. She has published articles and lectured around the world. She is the wife of John, a successful scientist and together they have 3 children. Anna is an attorney married to an attorney,Tom a college student and Lydia is an actress.

Alice begins to experience moments of forgetting and confusion which she chalks up to perhaps menopause, aging, her busy professional life, too much stress, not getting enough sleep etc. Some of these moments include searching for hours for her BlackBerry charger which is always plugged in the electrical socket right beside her bed, and a jog in Harvard Square which she is so familiar with, she suddenly becomes disoriented and now can't find her way back home. Her memory comes back and she returns home.

She was invited to be guest speaker at Stanford to kick off the cognitive psychology fall colloquium series. She has no trouble getting there and when she does she is introduced and begins her 50 minute talk. She loves public speaking and she loves to teach so this comes easy to her. However 40 minutes into her talk she can't find the word.It's gone and not even on the tip of her tongue. It's gone forever.She thinks that it may be from the champagne she drank or perhaps jet lag. She feels so embarrassed and wonders what people are thinking.

Alice keeps putting off calling her GP thinking that the episodes will disappear with time. She finally sees her GP and tells her that she's been having memory problems. Her GP does tests and the tests turn out normal. Alice thinks it is probably a brain tumour and tells her doctor she wants to see a neurologist.

Alice then visits a neurologist who puts her through various memory tests. She fails the test. The doctor sees that something is very wrong and soon she is diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's and there is very little that can be done.

Alice is stunned with the terrible news, She now has to face her husband and children and tell them the bad news. Her husband John has a tough time accepting this and throws himself into his work. The children have their own opinions on how to deal with their mother. All three opinions are widely different. Now Alice has to face up to the loss of a teaching career and her life ahead.

For those of you who don't know too much about Alzheimer's, this book will surely enlighten you. For those who have gone through this, the disease seen from the perspective of Alice who is suffering with this treacherous disease will enlighten you as well.

To those who felt that there should have been an ending and you wanted to know what happened to dear Alice. The answer is clear. The disease is Progressive and Degenerative.

Dr. Lisa Genova has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and is well versed in this subject matter to be sure. She is brilliant in her depiction of Alzheimer's/Dementia, what it is and how it affects a human being like Alice, as Alice tells us her story.

Still Alice is a powerful book. It is heartwrenching yet never depressing.

P.S. My dear mother Ruth suffered with Dementia and to me she will always be STILL RUTH as dear Alice will always be STILL ALICE to her loved ones.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alzheimer's or Not, She's Still Alice, May 19 2011
This review is from: Still Alice (Paperback)
Alice is a fit and healthy fifty year-old Harvard professor when she is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

"Still Alice" is a first hand account of someone diagnosed with this disease far too young, and like any first hand account it educates us about perspectives. Smart and instantly likeable, as Alice goes through the stages of her disease so does the reader. Her loss of lucidity is evident as you are treated to the inner workings of her mind.

As Alice says in a lecture at an Alzheimer's convention in one scene, just because they are living with this disease doesn't mean the rest of the world should write them off.

"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 didn't matter."

And so this book is not only a great read, a personal journey of a beautiful character and her family, it also educates us about a terribly shattering dementia. I love learning as I read, it's my favorite form of multi-tasking.

Life is no fairytale, and if diagnosed with this disease, it would be almost impossible to see any light. Yet the author manages to bring a touch of grace to a tragic situation. Relationships can evolve in curious ways, as happens to Alice. Without sugar-coating, this story illuminates that Alzheimer's is not an ending, but rather a challenge which forces you to live your life differently.

In her first novel, incidentally written at Starbucks while her child was at school, Lisa Genova has created a touching story about a woman who endures this hurdle with dignity. She fights to hold on to the person she is, and lives in the moment as best she can.

I couldn't put this book down, and when I did I was in a hurry to get back to it. The best books leave us with lessons learned in life, albeit through someone else's experience. From Alice we learn to persevere, to enjoy the good, and to love hard.

And of course that lesson that never gets old - to live in the moment and for the moment.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Alice, Feb. 19 2010
By 
Carol C. Markowsky (Rossland, BC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I completely related to Alice and her family. My husband has a progressive neurological condition that has profoundly affected his mobility and speech and of course has a major impact on myself and our daughters. It made me think about my own situation on so many different levels that it's hard for me to convert my thoughts into a few words. There were 2 tracks in the book that I kept seeing (we have experienced them as well). One was people's inability or discomfort in relating to her once she was diagnosed - friends and family either told her how sorry they were or talked as if she wasn't present. Her daughter Lydia was able to connect with her. She was successful because she connected with her mother on an emotional level not in a cognitive way. On the last page of the book she asks her mother to listen to her monologue from a play and tell her what she thinks about it, not the story (because she knew she wouldn't be able to comprehend the words) but how it makes her feel emotionally. The second theme I noticed was the references to small moments. The things that mattered to Alice in the end were: walking to work with her husband, eating ice cream, running, smelling her grandchildren. So here comes the lessons we can all learn - be empathetic not sympathetic (saying I'm sorry is not helpful or necessary) and when it comes down to it, the only things that matters are the small moments with the people you are closest to. Maybe if we all try to be more empathetic and in touch with our own emotions we will stop defining ourselves through our work/careers and actually take the time to enjoy the small moments. One more thing, don't be too hard on John for not being more supportive of Alice. He was going through the stages of grief as well - denial, anger, bargining and hopefully he reached the final stage of acceptance. No one really knows how they will react if faced with a similar situation until they're in it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts..., May 30 2011
By 
Reader Writer Runner (Victoria, BC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Still Alice (Paperback)
Not only does Lisa Genova hold a Ph.D in neuroscience from Harvard, she is also a graceful and poignant author whose first novel has received rave reviews. Still Alice depicts a 50-year-old Harvard professor of linguistics and psychology who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's Disease. Genova writes from Alice's point of view, affording the reader a deep sense of immediacy as the protagonist grapples with fear, frustration and loneliness. Alice's story is devastating yet the book is not depressing; rather, it highlights the strength of a resourceful, triumphant woman dealing with crisis while still living "a life that matters."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book but where's the ending?, Feb. 20 2010
By 
Book Momma (Victoria, BC CA) - See all my reviews
I thought this was a wonderful book. A real eye opener as to what it must be like to live with Alzheimer's from both sides of the disease. The book was well written, very informative, and the characters were very real and believable.
I was very disappointed though at the ending, or lack there of. It just ends sort of mid sentence. A proper conclusion or at least a lead into another book would have been ok but how this one wrapped up was just weird.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and enlightening, June 17 2009
By 
MD (Toronto, ON) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Still Alice (Paperback)
What a great story. A very easy read; couldn't put it down! I have never really put much thought into Alzheimers before, but boy, was this story enlightening. Alice is a lovable, relatable character, with a successful career, a busy but devoted husband, and children each at their own stages of life. When Alzheimers takes over and changes her dynamics with each, it is heartbreaking.

I found myself very sad for Alice and all her family members throughout the novel, and can only imagine what true Alzheimers patients and their families go through. You will leave this book wanting to go and spend time with your loved ones and to cherish every moment, knowing that with a disease like this you can lose it all too easily.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Alice, April 16 2009
By 
Sharon Williamson (Red Deer, Alberta Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Still Alice (Paperback)
Lisa Genova's first book is both disturbing and educational. Her characters are so true to life you laugh and cry with them while you are learning about Alzheimer's disease. The devastation in Alice's life is phenomenal as her career ends and her role as wife and mother are forever changed when she is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers at 50 years of age. Still Alice is a great read, one that everyone could benefit from reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Alice, Nov. 21 2009
By 
Sherry Mcalpine "Sherry book lover" (Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Still Alice (Paperback)
It was one of the best books I've read as it was well written and so informative. I really think that anyone who is a caregiver for a senior whether with Alzheimer or not should read this book. It gives an insight into the senior and the incredible frustration that is experienced as we age. We need to be patient and remember that our senior has led an interesting life that needs to be acknowledged and respected for it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 216 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Still Alice
Still Alice by Lisa Genova (Paperback - Jan. 6 2009)
CDN$ 17.00 CDN$ 9.49
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews