What Alice Forgot

What Alice Forgot

by Liane Moriarty


$12.80 $16.00 Save 20% Current price is $12.8, Original price is $16. You Save 20%. View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, September 20



A “cheerfully engaging”(Kirkus Reviews) novel for anyone who’s ever asked herself, “How did I get here?”

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child. So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over—she’s getting divorced, she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425247440
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/24/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 1,461
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Liane Moriarty is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Nine Perfect StrangersThree WishesTruly Madly GuiltyBig Little LiesThe Husband’s SecretThe Hypnotist’s Love Story, and What Alice Forgot. She lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and two children.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

She was floating, arms outspread, water lapping her body, breathing in a summery fragrance of salt and coconut. There was a pleasantly satisfied breakfast taste in her mouth of bacon and coffee and possibly croissants. She lifted her chin and the morning sun shone so brightly on the water, she had to squint through spangles of light to see her feet in front of her. Her toenails were each painted a different color. Red. Gold. Purple. Funny. The nail polish hadn’t been applied very well. Blobby and messy. Someone else was floating in the water right next to her. Someone she liked a lot, who made her laugh, with toenails painted the same way. The other person waggled multicolored toes at her companionably, and she was filled with sleepy contentment. Somewhere in the distance, a man’s voice shouted, “Marco?” and a chorus of children’s voices cried back, “Polo!” The man called out again, “Marco, Marco, Marco?” and the voices answered, “Polo, Polo, Polo!” A child laughed; a long, gurgling giggle, like a stream of soap bubbles. A voice said quietly and insistently in her ear, “Alice?” and she tipped back her head and let the cool water slide silently over her face.
Chapter 2

Jane said of course she would have come to the hospital with her but she had to be in court at two o’clock.
Chapter 3

Nick wasn’t waiting at the hospital with flowers for Alice. Nobody was waiting for her, which made her feel slightly heroic.
Chapter 4

Apparently Alice’s CT scan was “unremarkable,” which had made her feel ashamed of her mediocrity. It reminded her of her school reports with every single box ticked “Satisfactory” and comments like “A quiet student. Needs to contribute more in class.” They may as well have just come right out and written across the front: “So boring, we don’t actually know who she is.” Elisabeth’s reports had some boxes ticked “Outstanding” and others ticked “Below Standard” and comments like “Can be a little disruptive.” Alice had yearned to be a little disruptive, but she couldn’t work out how you got started.

Excerpted from "What Alice Forgot"
by .
Copyright © 2012 Liane Moriarty.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Moriarity makes this more than just a one-note story, weaving in a plotline involving Alice's childless sister… intriguing… will keep readers guessing and curious to know more about Alice.” —Library Journal

Reading Group Guide


Alice Love is twenty-nine years old, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child. So imagine her surprise when, after a fall, she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! she HATES the gym!) and discovers that she's actually thirty-nine, has three children, and is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce.

A knock on the head has misplaced ten years of her life, and Alice isn't sure she likes who she's become. It turns out, though, that forgetting might be the most memorable thing that has ever happened to Alice.


Liane Moriarty is the author of two other novels, Three Wishes and The Last Anniversary, both of which have been published around the world and translated into seven languages. She is also the author of the Nicola Berry series for children. Moriarty lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and two small, noisy children.

  • Did you like the younger Alice best? Or did you relate more to the older Alice?
  • What would your younger self of ten years ago think of the person you are today?
  • What would surprise your younger self most about the life you're currently leading? What would disappoint you?
  • What would you think of your children? Are they how you imagined they would be? Are you the parent you envisioned? Why or why not?
  • Alice is shocked by many transformations—her gym-toned body, her clothes, her house. Are you more or less polished than you were a decade ago? And do you think there's any deeper significance to such change?
  • Do you think it was realistic that Alice ended up back with Nick? Were you happy with that ending? Do you think they would have ended up together if she hadn't lost her memory?
  • In order for Nick to be successful at his job, was it inevitable that he would spend less time with his family and thereby grow apart from Alice?
  • How did you feel about the sections written from the perspectives of Elisabeth and Frannie? Did they add to your enjoyment of the book, or would you have preferred to have it written entirely from Alice's point of view?
  • Do you think it was unavoidable that Elisabeth and Alice had grown apart, because of the tension caused by Elisabeth's infertility versus Alice's growing family? Or do you think their rift had more to do with the kind of people both of them had become?
  • It's not only Alice who changed over the last decade. Elisabeth changed, too. Do you think she would have been so accepting of the new Alice at the end if she herself didn't get pregnant?
  • Out of all the characters in the book, who do you think had changed the most over the past decade and why?
  • The film rights to the book have been sold to Fox 2000—who do you think would be good in the lead roles?
  • If you were to write a letter to your future self to be opened in ten years, what would you say?
  • Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    See All Customer Reviews

    What Alice Forgot 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 493 reviews.
    l_manning More than 1 year ago
    Ok, this is my first official "must read" of the summer. I loved this book so much! What Alice Forgot starts with Alice waking up at the gym. She passed out, and when she wakes up she does not remember the last 10 years of her life. She discovers that rather than being extremely happy and pregnant with her first child, she instead has 3 children and is going through a rather nasty divorce. As she tries to get her memory back, Alice also tries to piece together what has happened to her life. Where did it all go wrong? One thing I found so fascinating was this concept of how our past selves would view our current lives. I wonder how me 10 years ago would view my life now. It's certainly different than I thought it would be, but I'd like to think that I'd be pleased with it. Alice was not. Everything was so different than how she thought it would be. She had become a completely different person, and her younger self wasn't so sure she liked the current Alice. It also became apparent that all those things that seem so deadly important as we go through our everyday lives aren't always so massive when viewed with a different perspective. There were two other plot parts that were fascinating. One dealt with Alice's honorary grandmother Frannie. She was still dealing with things that happened in her past, and through a series of letters we see her thoughts and ideas. Frannie was fantastic! The other plot point involved Alice's sister Elisabeth, who was dealing with unexplained infertility. That part was heartbreaking at times. I think it was very realistic though. All the other characters were interesting too. Sure, they had their flaws, but in the end they were mostly good people just living normal lives. I found myself really thinking about how much we gradually change over time. Thinking about if my decisions now will still make for a happy life in 10 years. I know it's impossible to really know, but I did find myself reviewing how I treat my family to ensure that they would still be happy in 10 years. This book is probably an example of "chick lit" at it's finest. It's fun and light-hearted, but it does make you think about things. Or maybe that's just me. Some people may think the ending was wrapped up too prettily, but I think it was absolutely perfect. If you're looking for a fun read with a bit of substance, then What Alice Forgot is a great choice. Book won in online contest
    Iora More than 1 year ago
    Sweet, funny, light. Perfect beach reading.
    Cecita More than 1 year ago
    I was absorbed in it from the first page. As a newly wed myself, I have to say it felt so real and scary! I particularly liked how it gave you a few clues, little by little, of what had happened. Loved the ending. Agree with some reviewers about the letters. I skipped the Grandma ones but liked the sister's ones.
    Lainie-1 More than 1 year ago
    Great book with an intersting storyline. Alice's life is a story about change, personal growth & second chances amongst friends, family & spouse. I really enjoyed it!
    Peanut61 More than 1 year ago
    Fast paced book filled with a whole slew of great primary & secondary characters. The whole concept of amnesia really makes you think... about all the good things you've forgotten which brought you to where you are today... as well as all the bad! Thought provoking and insightful without being overbearing and pretentious.
    Jacqueline Morley More than 1 year ago
    I liked the plot and ending was good. Good book to discuss and put yourself in characyer role. Just really was too much at times with the flashbacks, sister and "grandma" diaries. Found myself skimming and skipping parts that dragged on.
    Arlene70AL More than 1 year ago
    I really enjoy this book. I finished it in less than 2 days. Alice was a great character and mostly likeable. I would recommend it to almost anyone. Sort of a chick book.
    igor34 More than 1 year ago
    Really makes you think about your life and marriage.  I highly recommend this book.  It is an easy read and will keep you thinking.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This genre is not really typical for me, but I liked the story and kept turning the pages to find out what would happen next. It is very well written and highly enjoyable.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    A young Sydney housewife falls and hits her head, and forgets the last 10 years of her life. Alice comes home from the hospital to three children she doesn't know, a slew of commitments she has no idea how to fulfill,a beautiful old house that barely resembles the shambles she and her husband bought and were working to restore and a vase of red roses from an unknown admirer. Why does her adored husband want a divorce? And who is the man who sent the roses? And where are the two stone lions that used to guard the front door? And does she really want her husband back, or is the tall man who sent the roses a better choice? To make her life even more complicated, as she gradually regains her memories Alice realizes that she doesn't much like the woman she has become. Moriarty brings her characters to life, and manages a happy ending that should satisfy readers.
    FAF61 More than 1 year ago
    predictable ending. Good idea, but got too long, and skimmed alittle. Good summer read.
    ToReadPerchancetoDream More than 1 year ago
    I'm not sure what to say about this book. I've had it on my reading list for ages and finally got to it, just to find it wasn't as spectacular as I'd hoped or imagined. Alice, after she lost her memory and thought she was twenty-nine and pregnant for the first time, was a sweet character. Her story was written in third person, but the author didn't take advantage of that "all knowing" style of writing, everything was shown as Alice perceived it. Interspersed in Alice's story, there were diary entries from Elisabeth, Alice's sister made to a psychiatrist, Dr. Hodges; as well as letters to an old beau written by Frannie, their adopted grandmother. These didn't add to the narrative at all, and would have made Alice's story flow better if just left out. For me, What Alice Forgot was just an ok book. There are some really good moments with the children as she tires to learn to relate to these little people she doesn't remember. There are good lessons to be learned about moderation, in life, in family, in friendship.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    From the moment I picked up and started reading "What Alice Forgot" I was drawn in to the story. It was so easy to put yourself into Alice's shoes and feel what she was experiencing, as well as her family and friends. A scary prospect to think about happening to someone, but I so enjoyed reading this story and I highly recommend this for everyone to read!
    RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
    Review by Ivelisse:Imagine not being able to remember the last ten years of your life, especially some crucial events within those last ten years like the birth of all three of your children.that is exactly what happens to Alice Mary Love. Alice suffers a concussion and forgets everything she has been thru the last ten years of her life, once the pieces start coming together she realizes she doesn't like this person she has become. Her life is also falling apart, she finds out she is getting a divorce, her soon to be ex-husband moved out six months ago and she has been dating someone new for a month. She is determined to get her husband back, she starts to try to find out where they went wrong even though everyone is telling her once she remembers she is going to regret even thinking about getting back together. This book also has mini plots about her sister dealing with infertility issues and her "grandmother" (not a blood relative but very close to what a grandmother is like to them) dealing with getting over a past love and moving on. I could not put this book down, read it in one day (in between work and school work lol). The author writes it in a way where you just have to find out what is going to happen next. I felt such sympathy for all the characters, made me think about my own life and the last ten years. I really connected with this book because I too have three children (oldest being 10) and wondered how I would feel if I didn't remember them or my husband; a pretty scary thought. I liked how the author changed up between Alice, her sister and grandmother's story and how she melded them together. By the end of the book, I was really hoping for Alice and her husband to stay together.don't want to spoil the ending but the author really does have a way of keeping you on your toes. It was a fascinating and exhilarating read, enjoyed it from beginning to end. I have been recommending it to everyone I know since I read it, absolutely fantastic.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book was a great read, especially for a mom and wife teeing to keep up with life. Heartwarming.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I've now read three of her books and have to say that I enjoyed her writing style. This book makes you think of what it would be like to loose your memory. Once into her books, I read them very fast enjoying the characters and her endings.
    amylynne9411 More than 1 year ago
    Liane Moriarty is by far my favorite author right now. I started with Big Little Lies and have read almost all of her books. This one hooked me from the first page and is hard to put down. I wish I had more time to read and I hope it ends the way I want it to. We will see. She is a brilliant author and I can't wait for whatever comes next.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Loved this book! It was hard to put down, it had a great ending!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book was hard to put down and it really resonated with how your life can change subtly over time. How do you compare with the person you used to be?
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Easy. fast read that helps put life in perspective.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This was a book worth reading!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Makes it hard to rate a book that was such a good read in the beginning, but the ending was so dull.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I really enjoyed this book. It makes you think about how much we change (personality, likes/dislikes, etc.) over time and almost become different people altogether. We can all learn from Alice's experience -- let maturity guide you, but hold onto that inner young spirit.  And don't let life's hectic pace keep you from treasuring those you love most!
    Anonymous 6 months ago
    Anonymous 10 months ago
    I read it in a couple days, I really enjoyed it!