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Still Alice-by Lisa Genova

I wasn’t sure I was going to do a post on this book.  It was recommended to me months ago and it took me a long time to get around to reading it.  I am not a fiction person.  I get too wrapped up in fictional stories and emotions that it leaves me drained… and they wern’t even real:)  Also, I don’t read sad books.  Life is sad enough, if I need to be depressed there is plenty of news out there. 

That being said, I cried the whole way through this book, but still want to recommend it.  ‘Still Alice’ is a true to life, fiction story of a woman (Alice) who gets early onset Alzheimer’s.   Lisa Genova, who wrote it, has a Ph.D in neuroscience from Harvard so I believe it is medically very accurate.  Alzheimer’s is a terrifying and embarrising disease that is often not understood.  There is lots more support for caregivers, but this book takes the reader inside the head of the patient. 

This was not a sad story.  What I loved about this book is that it zero’s in on what is important.  It is often trials, in this case Alzheimer’s, that help us more clearly see what is truely important.  This is the root of simplification and intentional living.  The goal isn’t to reduce life, but to clear space for what is really important.  In ‘Still Alice’ we see that it isn’t the jobs, money or even goals and dreams that matter as much as love and relationships.  Pain is part of living, but pain doesn’t have to be a tragedy.  It is a story of loss and of gain–of friction and love. 

It was an important reminder for me (I already think I am loosing my mind most of the time), that when it is all said and done, what is important is the love I have shared and the relationships that I have developed.   Life isn’t perfect, but love stands strong.