Welcome to November! Each month barrels past before I’ve gotten a good grip on it. We added January to our three-month calendar at work and it shocks me how soon we’ll be in mid-winter, with Christmas and New Years behind us.
I'm trying to embrace the cooler weather with warm sweaters, fleece-lined leggings and some cozy winter books. I have some Louise Penny downloaded and ready to read on my phone, so watch for Inspector Gamache in the coming weeks.
Do you have favourite winter reads to recommend? I’d love to hear what you most like to read as the days get shorter and colder.
With cozy fleece and hot tea,
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
The set-up of this book is pure soap opera: A woman collapses in her gym class and when she comes to, she’s forgotten the last 10 years, including the birth of her children and separation from her husband. But where a soap opera would take this as one shocking moment of drama in a long line of improbable situations, Liane Moriarty takes us into something deeper and more thoughtful.
Alice is confronted with a reality many people have feared—she’s become a person her younger self might not like very much. As she begins navigating this new future-world of 2009, she needs to consider what she owes the future-self she doesn’t know (or like) and what her future-self owes to her past.
While Alice’s situation is the most obvious reckoning with a past self, each of the characters in this book is dealing with the present in a way that is inextricably linked with the hopes, dreams and mistakes of their past selves. Some have let the past define them in destructive ways, while others have used it to launch them into better futures.
The improbability of the set-up ultimately doesn’t matter, in part because Alice has so much heart, but mostly because the conflict between who we are and who we thought we’d be is entirely, painfully human.
Extracurricular Reading and Watching
Firstly, I want to recommend the HBO series Big Little Lies, based on another Liane Moriarty book (on Crave in Canada). It features more upper middle-class white women, the story supplanted to California for American TV. It’s a drama with a mystery at the heart of it and the most caring therapist I’ve ever seen on TV.
What Alice Forgot features a giant lemon meringue pie, which favours quantity over quality. In my opinion, autumn is pie season, so here are two recipes inspired by the book, to make a tasty one of your own:
Probably the most famous real-life person to have dealt with a bout of amnesia was Agatha Christie. My favourite version of the story is told in season of Doctor Who, but Scientific American took a more realistic look at the situation, whether it’s likely she actually suffered from memory loss, and what that loss might have looked like.
Sabrina has read 72 books toward her goal of 75 books.