Alice Howland, a psychology professor at Harvard University, has had a remarkable career and anticipates a promising future. The mother of three adult children, she is married to John, a scientist, also employed at Harvard. She is only fifty years old when she begins having “memory” issues. She thinks she might be starting menopause, as her online search suggests some of the same symptoms she has been experiencing. But then one day, Alice gets lost while running in an area that is completely familiar to her, and the fright compels her to seek medical attention.

But when Alice goes to her doctor, and then is sent to other physicians for more tests, she soon learns that she has Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease.

Still Alice is a compelling, emotional, and enlightening story that reveals through her perspective the deterioration that ensues in the months after her diagnosis; we begin to see the occasional lapses that turn Alice into someone who does not recognize her family, friends, or colleagues. By the time this has happened, of course, Alice has left her teaching position. The medications that seemingly halt the progress of the disease, allowing for occasional almost “normal” moments, are unable to change the grim outcome.

What I enjoyed most in this tale was how the reader can seemingly get inside Alice’s head, see life through her eyes, and feel what she is feeling.

Despite the tragedy of watching Alice lose pieces of herself over the course of the story, a core of Alice remains. Her emotions show through, reminding us that she remains. And there is a kind of triumph that her spirit is still very much present. A story that will touch anyone who can relate to family connections and the strength of those bonds. 5 stars.


  1. Although Alice had a different journey with Alzheimer’s than my father-in-law I still found the novel very relatable. I put off reading it for quite a long time but was very happy to have read it when I got around to it. A very good book.


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