Alice and Oliver Book Review

Written on 9/07/2016 at 11:30 pm by eBook-mom

Alice and Oliver book review

It was a rainy weekend and I wanted something different to read.  I've been mostly in a Maeve Binchey mood for the past month but it was time to read something different.  Maeve Binchey raises the bar high for other story tellers so sometimes it is difficult for me to get in the groove with other books after experiencing Maeve's brilliant story telling.

Eye catching book cover

Alice and Oliver: A Novel, by Charles Bock, got my attention with it's simple book cover that's  just the tittle in bright pastel colors.  I guessed that this would be a character driven story and it truly was.

The opening grabs your attention

Opening with Alice and Oliver on a trip to visit parents, Alice becomes ill and within just a few pages, Alice's illness becomes life-threatening.  The story grabs you and with spot -on descriptions, you find yourself experiencing the onset of leukemia in the most intimate way.

A story that inspires compassion

I wish I had read this book while my best pal Nancy was dying of cancer.  I could have understood her struggles so much better and been a better friend.Taking bits and pieces from his wife Diana Joy Colbert's journal, Bock presents an authentic experience of what it's like to fight cancer. In the book, Alice has a support system of friends and family and she describes the joys when those friends give her exactly what she needs.  I wish I'd known these things for being a better friend to Nancy.

A book that opens your heart

This books is so much more than the illness of leukemia.  In it we observe the marriage of two people who are stressed by all the medical interventions and financial demands of a life threatening illness.  It's a beautiful book about the love that exist between Alice and Oliver.  Throughout the book you get to learn about their love relationship from beginning to present and as the relationship  falls apart and then grows stronger.

A study of the human condition

Alice and Oliver is a book about the human condition, marriage and what it's like to face death.  Bock manages to strike a balance between being serious and the daily stuff of human existence, making the story flow easily from one page to the next.

I read Alice and Oliver pretty much from cover to cover.  I couldn't put it down.  When I finished it, I felt like I had learned something very, very important about life and the struggle to keep it. 

Here is a link to the Kirkus review of Alice and Oliver: A Novel..