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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Book Reflection: What Alice Forgot

I've always enjoyed "pleasure reading." I especially love reading books that are going to be made into movies :) I'm thankful I have friends who also enjoy reading and we are able to trade books with each other to save some money...as well as save us from the disappointing feeling of investing in the time to read a book only to find out you won't like it. We know what we all like so we know we'll like the books we share!

Katie recently let me borrow What Alice Forgot. She described it to me as a light, quick read. For the first time in a long time she was wrong haha! It was NOT a light read for me. It became one of those books that really, really stuck with me. I think about it a lot, and reference it often. It's one that I know I will continue to think about for years to come. I really, really like it and recommend it as a must-read! Katie is right in that it's a fast read, and it's not overly emotional or anything like that. You could easily read it on an airplane or at the beach and you don't have to worry about having an embarrassing crying breakdown in front of strangers (like when I read The Lovely Bones on an airplane. Hello embarrassing!).




Sidenote: But last year I was hardcore about recommending Gone Girl to everyone. It is still one of my favorite books that I've read. I also think it was the best book to movie adaptation I've seen. However, I did not warn people enough prior to them reading or watching it. I had a couple people contact me who were pretty shocked. They assumed my recommendation was based on my faith...and I felt awful that I let them down in that. I do recommend What Alice Forgot and promise it's not as crazy as Gone Girl. ;) It's not a Christian-based read by any means, but it's not going to rock your world either!

No spoilers here but since it has been on my mind so much I wanted to take a little time to reflect on the book. I'm one of those people who can't finish one book and then start another one right away. I need time to digest it and say "goodbye" to the story line and the characters that I've become so attached to!

The basic storyline of the book is that a woman, Alice, wakes up to realize that she's forgotten the past 10 years of her life. The big, "heavy," part for me is the realization of how much we change as people over time. Life events, every day decisions, people we meet, choices we make. They shape us and mold us and continually change us. In some ways for the better, and in some ways for the worse.

I thought a lot about my own life and how much it's changed in 10 years. It made me think a lot about how much at age 20 I looked forward to the future and how I need to appreciate the life I'm living today. I was madly in love with Zach at age 20. I was dying for him to propose. I wanted to be his wife and have his babies. And now I am his wife. I get to raise our children along side of him. 20 year old me would look at 30 year old me and be super pumped that this is where I'd end up. There have also been a lot of hurt during these 10 years and I do wish, in many ways, that I could look at life through those 20-year-old glasses. Less jaded, less afraid, less complicated.

It also made me think a lot about the future. In the book Alice is 39 years old and she forgets the decade prior. So the time period she is forgetting is actually the 10 years I'm about to be living. Age 29-39. I just turned 30 and can relate to a lot of the ways she felt at this same age. It's a good warning for myself. Not to allow the next 10 years to change me in a negative way. I don't want to take myself too seriously, over schedule our lives where we can't enjoy them, let my marriage become less loving, let our home become an unhappy one.

I'm thankful that when I think about the personal changes I've made in the past 10 years that they, for the most part, have been improvements. I've matured, grown-up, and grown closer to the Lord. But in many ways I see areas that 20 year old me would not approve of. I should enjoy each day more. I should have more FUN. I should be happier, more appreciative, and less complicated. It's wonderful to know that I'm looking ahead to 10 years that are a blank slate. I get to choose who I become and the kind of legacy I leave behind. My goal is to look at myself at age 40 and be satisfied with who I see!

If you've already read the book, what were your thoughts? Did it affect you on a deeper level as it did me? Would your 10-year-younger-self like the person who are today? Isn't that something we should be asking ourselves often? Do we like the life we're living?

If you haven't read it, be sure to pick up a copy before your summer vaca! I also heard it will be turned into a movie so you know I'll be seeing that for sure!

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