Employing the old amnesia trick from countless novels and films, Liane Moriarty's What Alice Forgot (Amy Einhorn) centers on a woman who goes to the gym, hits her head, and loses all memory of the past decade, which was apparently quite eventful: While Alice wakes up thinking she's 29, deliriously happy in her marriage and newly pregnant, in fact she's a 39-year-old mother of three in the midst of a hideous divorce. What happened? Alice tries to piece it together with the help of her sister, whose own past is so riddled with loss that she might welcome some amnesia herself. Funny and knowing, especially about the details of domesticity, this agile novel is also a light-handed look at what we choose to remember, and fight to forget.
Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints of ‘normal’ life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallised in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out.