Still Alice by Lisa Genova

81%

30 Critic Reviews

Through her depiction of real-life situations and their impact on a close-knit family coping with this tragic disease, Genova shows us that when you lose your mind, you still have your heart, your default emotional responses and your essential self. Something for all of us to remember.
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis

In Lisa Genova’s extraordinary New York Times bestselling novel, an accomplished professor diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease learns that her worth is comprised of more than her ability to remember. Now a major motion picture from Sony Pictures Classics starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, and Kristen Stewart! Look for Lisa Genova's next novel Inside the O’Briens.

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life—and her relationship with her family and the world—forever.

At once beautiful and terrifying, Still Alice is a moving and vivid depiction of life with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease that is as compelling as A Beautiful Mind and as unforgettable as Ordinary People.
 

About Lisa Genova

See more books from this Author
Lisa Genova is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Love Anthony, Left Neglected, and Still Alice. Love Anthony, her latest, is the moving story of the mother of a boy with autism. She graduated valedictorian from Bates College with a degree in Biopsychology and holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Harvard University. She travels worldwide, speaking about the causes, treatments, ways to prevent, and what it feels like to live with Alzheimer’s Disease. She has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, The Diane Rehm Show, CNN, Chronicle, Fox News, and Canada AM and is featured in the documentary film, To Not Fade Away. She lives with her husband and three children in Cape Cod.
 
Published January 6, 2009 by Pocket Books. 353 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Professional & Technical. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon7
Peak Rank on Feb 08 2015
icon13
Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Still Alice
All: 30 | Positive: 29 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on May 20 2010

Genova, an online columnist for the National Alzheimer’s Association, has a brisk style and lays out the facts of the disease—statistics, tests, drugs, clinical trials—plainly, often rather technically...Worthy, benign and readable, but not always lifelike.

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Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Amy Reither on Jun 06 2013

The novel follows Alice’s slow but inevitable decline, losing memories, people, and connections as the disease progresses, as well as, the effect it has on her family...is a inspiring, insightful, heartbreaking, and touching look into a terrifying yet prevalent disease, making it a delightfully wonderful read.

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Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Shawna Lacharite on May 05 2010

The story is told through the lens of Alice, the book’s protagonist, in such a way that it allows readers to extend their emotion by understanding what it is like to lose all sense of comprehension...I would highly recommend this book to connoisseurs and novices alike.

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Book Reporter

Good
Reviewed by Carol Fitzgerald on Jan 23 2011

...STILL ALICE grabbed me from the first page. I kept reading knowing I was not going to get much done until I finished it; I kept saying one more page, one more chapter, until the book was completed...it’s a perfect book club book. I dare you to finish this novel and not turn to someone to talk about it.

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Globe and Mail

Above average
Reviewed by CARLA LUCCHETTA on Feb 20 2009

Through her depiction of real-life situations and their impact on a close-knit family coping with this tragic disease, Genova shows us that when you lose your mind, you still have your heart, your default emotional responses and your essential self. Something for all of us to remember.

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Pajiba

Above average
Reviewed by Nicole on Apr 06 2009

As the story progressed, and she could answer the questions with less and less certainty, I found myself crying. I tried to tell myself that it was only a story, but by the end I couldn't pretend anymore. It's not just a story. It's the story of every person with this horrible illness and no cure in sight.

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Blogger News Network

Above average
Reviewed by Maryann Miller on Mar 10 2008

 Still Alice  chronicles that demise accurately as it happens to the Howland family, and they all struggle toward acceptance. But this is not a sad or depressing read. It is positive and uplifting...The depth of characterization and insight into human relationships reminded me of books by Anne Tyler, and the narrative was just as strong...

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The Coast

Above average
Reviewed by Stephanie Jones on Jan 23 2015

As a study of pathology by a subject matter expert, Still Alice is devastating. As a first novel, it is serious, cogent, and perfectly structured, the primary vantage point of Alice’s tense and distant relationship with her youngest child giving way to an examination of the effects a disease with hereditary roots has on a family.

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Story Circle Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Lisa Genova on Feb 27 2010

Still Alice is beautifully crafted, emotionally evocative, thought-provoking, compassionate, and riveting...I could not put this one down. In no way do I mean to imply that this is a quick read or an insignificant one. To the contrary, Still Alice affected me as profoundly as any book I have ever read.

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AARP

Above average
Reviewed by Wendy Smith on Jan 31 2009

...the author has created a believable, appealing heroine and placed her in a loving but imperfect family atypical only in its level of achievement...she looks closely and compassionately at a frightening disease in an engaging work of fiction—and that’s quite enough for any first novelist to accomplish.

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St. Cloud Visitor

Above average
Reviewed by Ann Jonas on Feb 01 2015

Still Alice is written with a great deal of compassion and realism. Genova tackles a difficult subject, but does so in a very gentle and caring way. The book certainly gives the reader a sense of what it must be like to live with Alzheimer’s disease.

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EzineArticles

Above average
Reviewed by Cheryl A. Chatfield on Apr 29 2009

This is the best novel I have read on the subject; most of what I read is nonfiction. Written from the perspective of a women diagnosed with early Alzheimer's, the story shows the emotional toll on the patient and the family.

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Curled Up

Excellent
Reviewed by Deborah Straw, on Feb 01 2015

More than many other books on the disease, this book takes the reader into the daily life of the patient – forgetfulness, losing direction, putting things in the wrong place...This quiet and powerful novel is highly recommended for people who fear they may acquire the disease...

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Lesa's Book Critiques

Good
Reviewed by y Lesa on Oct 23 2010

Lisa Genova's Still Alice is a novel you'll read with your heart. And, it will break your heart, but Alice Howland's story is so tragic, and so realistic, that it needs to be read...I can't praise this novel highly enough,

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All the Books I Can Read

Above average
Reviewed by 1GIRL2MANYBOOKS on Dec 30 2010

...I didn’t find myself as emotionally invested as I expected to be. I’m not sure if it’s simply because I couldn’t relate that well to Alice and her family...or if the writing was well done, but just a bit too clinical for my liking. Still a really enjoyable read, just not quite what I was expecting.

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Lit and Life

Above average
Reviewed by litandlife on Oct 29 2014

Still Alice is packed with the information about Alzheimer's disease but it rarely feels like Genova is showing off her research...But it was the more personal moments that repeatedly brought tears to my eyes.

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Reading on a Rainy Day

Excellent
Reviewed by Athira on Jul 15 2010

What especially makes this book work is that Lisa Genova has written this fiction from Alice's viewpoint. The reader gets to see Alice actually forget people...Still Alice is a novel that is a testament to the human spirit. It is a assertion of Alice's persona even if she no longer has any recollection of herself and her close ones.

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Musings of a Bookish Kitty

Good
Reviewed by Literary Feline on Oct 19 2009

I felt a full range of emotions while reading this novel: fear, anger, sadness, joy, hope, helplessness, and love. The bonds of the Howland family are tested to the limit. Alice is an amazing and strong woman....It is not an easy read due to the subject matter, but it is well worth reading.

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Reading In Winter

Above average
Reviewed by Kristilyn on Oct 17 2011

I really appreciate how Genova wrote Still Alice by having each chapter outline a month in Alice’s life, so the reader can see how quickly the disease progressed...Genova crafted a beautiful novel. The characters are flesh and blood—you could imagine them being in the same room as you while you read.

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So many books, so little time

Good
on Nov 05 2011

What a wonderful yet sad and heartbreaking story...It really opens your eyes to what life with this disease can actually be like, whilst a fictional story it has been researched well and paints a vivid picture of what this disease is like to live with. I could hardly put it down 4/5 for me.

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A Novel Menagerie

Good
Reviewed by Sheri on Jul 25 2009

So… did I like Still Alice? Yes, and no. The beginning of the book didn’t grab a hold of me straight away. It took me considerable time to really connect with Alice and come to understand her. After I read well into the middle of the book, I found a much faster pace of reading...

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http://theblurb.com.au

Good
Reviewed by Editor on Jan 25 2015

Still Alice is important as an awareness raiser – not just of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease itself – but of what it’s like to experience this horribly sad disease...If anyone you know is suffering Alzheimer’s, read this...I found it fascinating as much from psychological and neurological perspectives, as from the emotions it evoked.

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LibrisNotes

Above average
Reviewed by LibrisNotes on Oct 03 2011

I feel that one of the main themes the author, Lisa Genova has touched upon in Still Alice, is that of quality of life in terminally ill persons. Still Alice is a novel that presents the lives of those with Alzheimer's as being worthy and having meaning.

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Carol's Notebook

Good
Reviewed by Carol on Aug 31 2011

Still Alice by Lisa Genova is a heart-breaking, but still hopeful novel. Alice’s story is compelling and made me think about how important it is to spend time with those I love...t is an amazing story. Genova gives us such true, vulnerable, flawed people, all trying to handle a devastating situation, and she does it beautifully.

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https://bookdout.wordpress.com

Good
Reviewed by shelleyrae on Dec 02 2014

A poignant and moving novel, Still Alice is the story of a Alice Howland, a fifty year old wife, mother and renowned linguistics professor at Harvard University...What ensures that Still Alice is so affecting is that it is told from Alice’s perspective. As the story unfolds, Alice desperately tries to hold on to her sense of self.

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The Infinite Curio

Excellent
Reviewed by Kay on Mar 21 2010

When I turned the last page, I felt as if I had just rushed through a roller coaster of emotions; grief, sadness, a few laughters here and there, love, fear… I found a little of everything in Alice’s story, and that’s what I loved about it. I know that, no matter the writing, I’ll still be thinking about this book a long time from now.

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http://bibliophilescorner.blogspot.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Olga J on Aug 19 2012

I cried while I read this novel. I cried for Alice, for her husband and for their children...I also laughed through tears because of Alice's irrepressible spirit, intellect and sense of humor...I thought it was excellent, heartbreaking but truly excellent, and I highly recommend it.

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Uniflame Creates

Excellent
Reviewed by Uniflame on Sep 26 2011

This is one of those stories that is beautiful and painful at the same time. I think the author did a very good job here combining all these aspects of this disease into a wonderful story. I don't give full marks to books often, but this is a five star book. I can highly recommend it, and I will be on the lookout for other books from this author.

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Emma Lee's Blog

Above average
Reviewed by emmalee1 on Feb 11 2010

It is sensitively written and lacks sentimentality. Although you know things are not going to get any better for Alice, the book is not depressing...The characters are very well drawn and you feel yourself fighting with Alice and hoping that if she can’t answer her five questions she somehow still fails to carry out her plan.

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Brush Up On Your Reading

Excellent
Reviewed by Nina on Feb 08 2011

I liked how the author wrote this story with a very strong and successful woman as a subject. It helped quell some myths about Alzheimer's...Although this book would ultimately sound a bit sad...the tone of this book was actually very hopeful and happy as it narrated to us the story of Alice as she struggled with her disease...

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Reader Rating for Still Alice
91%

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Pallavi Jones 2 Dec 2015

Rated the book as 3 out of 5

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