I'd usually get through a novel of around 300 pages in a day or so, but Still Alice took me five days to read, not because it's badly written, or boring, or anything like that, but because I just couldnt take much more than 40 or so pages in one chunk.
The realisation that although this is fiction, it could happen to any of us, the fact that Genova has a Ph.D in neuroscience reinforces the belief that this story could be real, it's a frightening thought and I'll confess that every mistake or forgetful moment that I've had over the last week has left me questioning myself - so daft, but that's the power of this book.
Alice's story is written in the third person, yet it's almost as though the reader is inside her head, with her thoughts flitting around and around, the whole world making no sense to her. The third person narration also allows the reader to see how her family react around her, to read the scenes where her husband and children discuss her, almost as though she is already dead is heartbreaking.
Alice was a Professor at Harvard and her understanding of language, in fact her love of language and her reputation as one of the finest in her field defined who she was. Losing that understanding made her lose her successful self - she became almost a shell of her old self - but sadly, this was noticed by her colleagues and students first.
There were times when I just had to put the book down, take a deep breath, make a cup of tea and do something else.
This is a remarkable first novel, which arouses some powerful emotions which is incredibly humbling.