I have just read Still Alice by Lisa Genova. I had heard so much about the movie that I decided to pick up the book. Yes, I’m one of those people who like to read the book first. Don’t lecture me about spoilers; you won’t change my ways. I wanted to read the book first so that I could tell if the accolades being bestowed on Julianne Moore’s performance were well earned.
I have since changed my mind. I have no intention of seeing the movie.
If Ms. Genova’s depiction of early onset Alzheimer’s and the insidious way that it creeps into your life is anywhere close to accurate, it scares the crap out of me. I’m forty-five and have friends and in-laws who are fifty or older and the idea that this could happen to any of us at such a relatively young age makes my heart ache.
Imagine it…….. slowly losing your mental faculties AND KNOWING IT! You completely forget people that you met five minutes ago. You can’t find your way home in your own neighborhood. Repeating yourself during the course of a telephone conversation because you don’t remember what you said a minute ago. Not being able to track what others are saying to you or around you. Starting to forget the names and identities of your closest family. Eventually, you don’t know how to read, write, feed yourself……
This is tragic enough if you are seventy but fifty?!
This book is so well written that I couldn’t help but stick with it until the end even considering the visceral response that I have had to it but I will not see the movie. If the reviews are right about what an incredible job Julianne did in the role, I’m not sure that I could handle it. This story hits far too close to my greatest fears for me to want to see it brought to life.
That being said, I do recommend the book. The insight that it gives us into the life of someone diagnosed with this disease is both scary and enlightening.