What Alice Forgot [NOOK Book]


From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, THE HUSBAND’S SECRET...

A “cheerfully engaging”* novel for anyone who’s ever asked herself, “How did I get here?”

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.

So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over…

*Kirkus Reviews
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This winning not-quite amnesia story parses what happens when Alice, a married mother of three whose marriage is disintegrating, takes a knock on the head and comes to thinking she is herself, but 10 years younger and in the middle of a blossoming young marriage, with her first child on the way. As younger Alice adjusts to her older life and body, she finds much to be surprised at: a wealthy lifestyle she never dreamed of, a rejuvenated mother with a surprising love interest, and a sister whose life has turned out unexpectedly disappointing. And everyone is so sorry for something that happened with her best friend Gina, whom she doesn't remember, but apparently who helped sow the seeds of her marriage's collapse. But as the young Alice takes over the older Alice's life and applies her goofy, laissez-faire approach to living, the tension builds: what will happen if old Alice regains her memory? Alice's journey of reconciling herself to how her life came to be what it is, and her slowly building understanding of how the threads of her marriage began to unravel, is moving, well-paced, and thoroughly pleasurable. (June)
Library Journal
When Alice Love passes out at the gym and bonks her head, she wakes up with no memory of the past decade. It's a complete shock to her that she is thin, has three children, and is in the midst of a nasty divorce. She also has no idea why people don't want to talk to her about a mysterious woman named Gina, who was apparently her best friend. Moriarity makes this more than just a one-note story, weaving in a plotline involving Alice's childless sister. Deeper and much more serious than Sophie Kinsella's similarly themed Remember Me?, Moriarty's (Three Wishes; The Last Anniversary) intriguing story will keep readers guessing and curious to know more about Alice. [See Prepub Alert, 1/3/11.]
Kirkus Reviews

From Australian Moriarty (The Last Anniversary, 2006, etc.), domestic escapism about a woman whose temporary amnesia makes her re-examine what really matters to her.

Alice wakes from what she thinks is a dream, assuming she is a recently married 29-year-old expecting her first child. Actually she is 39, the mother of three and in the middle of an acrimonious custody battle with her soon-to-be ex-husband Nick. She's fallen off her exercise bike, and the resulting bump on her head has not only erased her memory of the last 10 years but has also taken her psychologically back to a younger, more easygoing self at odds with the woman she gathers she has become. While Alice-at-29 is loving and playful if lacking ambition or self-confidence, Alice-at-39 is a highly efficient if too tightly wound supermom. She is also thin and rich since Nick now heads the company where she remembers him struggling in an entry-level position. Alice-at-29 cannot conceive that she and Nick would no longer be rapturously in love or that she and her adored older sister Elisabeth could be estranged, and she is shocked that her shy mother has married Nick's bumptious father and taken up salsa dancing. She neither remembers nor recognizes her three children, each given a distinct if slightly too cute personality. Nor does she know what to make of the perfectly nice boyfriend Alice-at-39 has acquired. As memory gradually returns, Alice-at-29 initially misinterprets the scattered images and flashes of emotion, especially those concerning Gina, a woman who evidently caused the rift with Nick. Alice-at-29 assumes Gina was Nick's mistress, only to discover that Gina was her best friend. Gina died in a freak car accident and in her honor, Alice-at-39 has organized mothers from the kids' school to bake the largest lemon meringue pie on record. But Alice-at-29 senses that Gina may not have been a completely positive influence. Moriarty handles the two Alice consciousnesses with finesse and also delves into infertility issues through Elizabeth's diary.

Cheerfully engaging.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101515372
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/2/2011
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 564
  • File size: 827 KB

Meet the Author

Liane Moriarty is the author of Big Little LiesThe Hypnotist's Love Story, The Husband's Secret, Three Wishes and The Last Anniversary. Her work has been published around the world and translated into seven languages. She is also the author of the Nicola Berry series for children. Moriarty lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and two small, noisy children.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 335 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 337 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 1, 2011

    A Fun Must Read!

    Ok, this is my first official "must read" of the summer. I loved this book so much! What Alice Forgot starts with Alice waking up at the gym. She passed out, and when she wakes up she does not remember the
    last 10 years of her life. She discovers that rather than being extremely happy and pregnant with her first child, she instead has 3 children and is going through a rather nasty divorce. As she tries to get her memory back, Alice also tries to piece together what has happened to her life. Where did it all go wrong?

    One thing I found so fascinating was this concept of how our past selves would view our current lives. I wonder how me 10 years ago would view my life now. It's certainly different than I thought it would be, but I'd like to think that I'd be pleased with it. Alice was not. Everything was so different than how she thought it would be. She had become a completely different person, and her younger self wasn't so sure she liked the current Alice. It also became apparent that all those things that seem so deadly important as we go through our everyday lives aren't always so massive when viewed with a different perspective.

    There were two other plot parts that were fascinating. One dealt with Alice's honorary grandmother Frannie. She was still dealing with things that happened in her past, and through a series of letters we see her thoughts and ideas. Frannie was fantastic! The other plot point involved Alice's sister Elisabeth, who was dealing with unexplained infertility. That part was heartbreaking at times. I think it was very realistic though. All the other characters were interesting too. Sure, they had their flaws, but in the end they were mostly good people just living normal lives.

    I found myself really thinking about how much we gradually change over time. Thinking about if my decisions now will still make for a happy life in 10 years. I know it's impossible to really know, but I did find myself reviewing how I treat my family to ensure that they would still be happy in 10 years. This book is probably an example of "chick lit" at it's finest. It's fun and light-hearted, but it does make you think about things. Or maybe that's just me. Some people may think the ending was wrapped up too prettily, but I think it was absolutely perfect. If you're looking for a fun read with a bit of substance, then What Alice Forgot is a great choice.

    Book won in online contest

    16 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2011

    Great summer read

    Sweet, funny, light. Perfect beach reading.

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    Loved it!

    I was absorbed in it from the first page. As a newly wed myself, I have to say it felt so real and scary! I particularly liked how it gave you a few clues, little by little, of what had happened. Loved the ending. Agree with some reviewers about the letters. I skipped the Grandma ones but liked the sister's ones.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2012

    Highly Recommend!

    Great book with an intersting storyline. Alice's life is a story about change, personal growth & second chances amongst friends, family & spouse. I really enjoyed it!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2011

    Idea was good but dragged on

    I liked the plot and ending was good. Good book to discuss and put yourself in characyer role. Just really was too much at times with the flashbacks, sister and "grandma" diaries. Found myself skimming and skipping parts that dragged on.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2013


    A book worth reading again every couple years. Makes you thibk about what is important in life.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2013

    Great read!!

    Fast paced book filled with a whole slew of great primary & secondary characters. The whole concept of amnesia really makes you think... about all the good things you've forgotten which brought you to where you are today... as well as all the bad! Thought provoking and insightful without being overbearing and pretentious.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    Fun to read,with well-defined characters

    A young Sydney housewife falls and hits her head, and forgets the last 10 years of her life. Alice comes home from the hospital to three children she doesn't know, a slew of commitments she has no idea how to fulfill,a beautiful old house that barely resembles the shambles she and her husband bought and were working to restore and a vase of red roses from an unknown admirer.

    Why does her adored husband want a divorce? And who is the man who sent the roses? And where are the two stone lions that used to guard the front door? And does she really want her husband back, or is the tall man who sent the roses a better choice?

    To make her life even more complicated, as she gradually regains her memories Alice realizes that she doesn't much like the woman she has become.

    Moriarty brings her characters to life, and manages a happy ending that should satisfy readers.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Absolutely fantastic!

    Review by Ivelisse:Imagine not being able to remember the last ten years of your life, especially some crucial events within those last ten years like the birth of all three of your children.that is exactly what happens to Alice Mary Love.

    Alice suffers a concussion and forgets everything she has been thru the last ten years of her life, once the pieces start coming together she realizes she doesn't like this person she has become. Her life is also falling apart, she finds out she is getting a divorce, her soon to be ex-husband moved out six months ago and she has been dating someone new for a month. She is determined to get her husband back, she starts to try to find out where they went wrong even though everyone is telling her once she remembers she is going to regret even thinking about getting back together. This book also has mini plots about her sister dealing with infertility issues and her "grandmother" (not a blood relative but very close to what a grandmother is like to them) dealing with getting over a past love and moving on.

    I could not put this book down, read it in one day (in between work and school work lol). The author writes it in a way where you just have to find out what is going to happen next. I felt such sympathy for all the characters, made me think about my own life and the last ten years. I really connected with this book because I too have three children (oldest being 10) and wondered how I would feel if I didn't remember them or my husband; a pretty scary thought. I liked how the author changed up between Alice, her sister and grandmother's story and how she melded them together. By the end of the book, I was really hoping for Alice and her husband to stay together.don't want to spoil the ending but the author really does have a way of keeping you on your toes. It was a fascinating and exhilarating read, enjoyed it from beginning to end. I have been recommending it to everyone I know since I read it, absolutely fantastic.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2014

    Fun read. Couldn't put it down.

    I really enjoy this book. I finished it in less than 2 days. Alice was a great character and mostly likeable. I would recommend it to
    almost anyone. Sort of a chick book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

    very good!

    This was a book worth reading!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

    Really enjoyed this book

    This genre is not really typical for me, but I liked the story and kept turning the pages to find out what would happen next. It is very well written and highly enjoyable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    What an amazing story and great read!

    From the moment I picked up and started reading "What Alice Forgot" I was drawn in to the story. It was so easy to put yourself into Alice's shoes and feel what she was experiencing, as well as her family and friends. A scary prospect to think about happening to someone, but I so enjoyed reading this story and I highly recommend this for everyone to read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    I really enjoyed this book. It makes you think about how much we

    I really enjoyed this book. It makes you think about how much we change (personality, likes/dislikes, etc.) over time and almost become different people altogether. We can all learn from Alice's experience -- let maturity guide you, but hold onto that inner young spirit.  And don't let life's hectic pace keep you from treasuring those you love most!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2012

    Anyone's Marriage!!!!

    I thought this was a great book, but it made me think of all of my feelings about my spouse during our 23 year marriage. Like Alice and Nick couples are crazy in love when they get married and then life happens and you have kids and they never sleep and you both work (sometimes too many hours), and you try to be involved with your kids’ activities and totally lose who you are and who your spouse is. You no longer appreciate or respect one another. You talk to your friends instead of your spouse. You "bash" your spouse to your friends.

    The talk among my female friends is very often husband bashing – just like Alice and her friends.

    I think there are so many marriages that could totally relate to this story and are mirrored in this story minus the memory loss.

    I think that almost all parents damage their kids in one way or another and Alice and Nick obviously did some damage to poor Madison. I was glad to see that she recovered in the story.

    Couples that are walking down the aisle this coming weekend would never believe that this book could be their story in 10 to 15 years (again, minus the memory loss).

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A beach read that makes you think

    Alice thinks she is a happily married twenty-nine-year-old woman, pregnant with her first child. When she wakes up after fainting and falling off her bike during a spin class, she is shocked to slowly discover that she is thirty-nine, has three children and a pending divorce. (Reminiscent of another Alice who fell and woke up confused in Wonderland.) "What Alice Forgot" has a premise that may seem trite, but in the hands of author Liane Moriarty, the story will keep the reader wondering "would the person I was ten years ago recognize the person I am today?". It's an interesting concept, and one that will create fascinating conversations in book clubs. Alice thinks she and her husband Nick are still happy, awaiting the birth of their first child. She discovers that she and Nick can't even be in the same room with each other, even though Nick once promised her that they would never divorce. She is also estranged from her sister Elizabeth, who is struggling with infertility issues. She doesn't even know her three children. Her mother is now dating her husband's stepfather. Alice searches for clues as to what has happened to her life. Everyone describes her as "always busy", though she no longer works, she volunteers at her children's school. She is "super-mom", currently organizing the baking of the world's largest lemon meringue pie as a fundraiser. We all know that woman, but Alice does not recognize her. She discovers that she is dating the school principal, a nice guy named Dominick. She wants her husband Nick back, but Nick is always angry with her. What possibly could have caused him to hate her so? Gina was Alice's best friend, neighbor and constant companion. Her relationship with Gina pushed her away from her sister and husband. Alice doesn't remember Gina, whom Alice saw killed in a car accident. It was very traumatic, and made Alice even more bitter. Alice doesn't recognize the person she has become. She is rigid, strict, judgmental, and vindictive. Nick has asked Alice repeatedly to give him back the family engagement ring that belonged to his grandmother. Even though she hates the ring, Alice refuses to give it back, just to be nasty. Alice does not know the woman she has become. Elizabeth's fertility problems are depressing her, and possibly ruining her own marriage. Moriarty does a wonderful job making you feel empathetic with Elizabeth and her husband. I like this couple, and their struggle seemed very real and sad. But the story all comes down to Alice. She is a complex character, and her journey to understand how she became such a different person, one she did not like, kept me turning the pages. This novel will make you think about how life's journeys can change a person, and cause you to reflect on your own journey. The mystery is whether Alice will get her memory back and which man she will end up with- nice guy principal Dominick or workaholic husband Nick. There are a few turns and twists along the way, but the conclusion is satisfying. This book is from Amy Einhorn Books, who have had such favorite best sellers as The Help, The Postmistress and The Weird Sisters. When I see the Amy Einhorn books imprint, I know it will be a book I will enjoy.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2011

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    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2014

    What Alice Forgot

    Loved this book. Read it twice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2014

    Reminds you to treasure today

    This was an excellent read. It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day drudgery of life without realizing the changes you and the world around you are making. This book subtely reminds you to take inventory of those changes from time to time, before it's too late and you find yourself changed into something you don't want to be.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    Well written and engaging - Liane Moriarty's signature

    Enjoyed reading

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