What if you couldn’t remember the last 10 years…

What Alice ForgotIf you suddenly lost your memory and thought it was 2004 instead of 2014, would you recognize your life?  Would you be happy or appalled by the person you had become?  Would you be shocked by your choices?  Would you be lost in a sea of wonder as you tried to piece together all the memories that had become unraveled? Would you want the life you have now, or would you yearn for the you and the life of 10 years ago?

In essence, this is the premise of a book called, “What Alice Forgot,” by Liane Moriarty.

Now, I am not really writing a book review, per se.  That would be an extremely odd thing for me to do as a non-reader. True, I am a writer, but I have only ever really dabbled as a reader. My ADD kicks in around the bottom of page 1, chapter 1, and that’s usually about as far as I go.

Enter Audible!  If you are unfamiliar with Audible, it is the leading provider of premium digital spoken audio information and entertainment on the Internet. In other words, it allows me to download and listen to books as opposed to reading them.

This has been a game changer for me.  I have listened to 4 books in the past 6 weeks, which is more books than I have read in the past 3 years put together.  Anyway, I digress.

So this book, “What Alice Forgot” is not only a cleverly written story, but one that engaged me from the very first chapter.

Alice falls in the gym and is knocked unconscious.  When she awakes, she thinks it is still 1998 instead of 2008.  We follow Alice as she faces a new life she can’t remember and doesn’t recognize.  This large memory gap continues through most of the book, but is sprinkled with both vivid and not so vivid memories that both connect and disconnect Alice’s life and the people in it.

As I was reading (listening to) the book, I found it impossible not to inject my own life and memories into the story and wondered what I would think of my life today, if I woke up and the last thing I remembered was my life in 2004 and I had no memories of the last 10 years.  I am sure that this same notion is pretty common for anyone reading the book.  It is nonetheless a powerful thought.


Michelle Sandlin – Writer

I felt like I was on this journey with Alice, as my own flashbacks of memories and earlier times constantly floated in and out of my thoughts.  I tried to remember what certain moments had felt like and recalled times when I wish I had done something differently or not behaved in a particular way.  I thought about times when I should have been present, instead of allowing my mind to be off thinking about tomorrow or yesterday or next week.

And then I thought about the things that would surprise or shock me the most in 2004 about my life and about the me of 2014. The following immediately sprung to mind:

  • That I gave up the corporate world in order to become a full-time, self-employed writer
  • That I write not 1, but 2 weekly columns for the newspaper
  • That I now play the drums
  • That my husband has returned to his original profession and was again an architect
  • That I am a grandmother
  • That I am, for the most part, always present
  • That I am thin
  • That my husband doesn’t drink…ever!
  • That I no longer feel that urge to “get ahead” and chase the illusive dollar
  • That I am more relaxed and happy
  • That my daily wardrobe consists of a t-shirt, jeans and Converse sneakers
  • That I have my nails done every 2 weeks
  • That weight training is part of my daily routine
  • That I talk to my mom almost every day on the telephone
  • That I am still living in the same house
  • That I still haven’t been to Tuscany
  • That I never moved to California

There are definitely plenty of others, but these provide a snapshot of how different my life has become in the last 10 years.

If you had told me in 2004 that any of these things would be my reality in 2014, I would have probably laughed at you. No way!

So, if you woke up in 2014, but thought it was still 2004, what would you find most surprising and/or shocking about your life?


  1. I would be most surprised that I was still working in our real estate office of 60+ agents and that the economy was humming along.

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