Alice & Oliver

PHEW. I am finally caught up with my ARCs. I can relax a little bit now. Or not…because I have an ENORMOUS stack of library books. On to those next. I might catch up with myself by May.

Alice Culvert is a force: passionate, independent, smart, and gorgeous, she—to her delight—attracts attention wherever she goes, even amid the buzz of mid-90s New York. In knee-high boots, with her newborn daughter, Doe, strapped to her chest, Alice is one of those people who just seem so vividly alive, which makes her cancer diagnosis feel almost incongruous. How could such a being not go on? But all at once, Alice’s existence, and that of her husband Oliver, is reduced to a single purpose: survival. As they combat the disease, the couple must also face off against the serpentine healthcare system, the good intentions of loved ones, and the deep, dangerous stressors that threaten to push the two of them apart. With veracity, humor, wisdom, and love, Charles Bock navigates one family’s unforgettable story – inspired by his own.

Alice & Oliver is a sweet, but sad story that balances sickness and marriage–sort of a grownup version of The Fault in our Stars–SORT OF…there’s not really a manic pixie dream girl thing going on here.

I liked the book at first. Alice is a beautiful, yet sad character, and following her through the pain of cancer was intriguing. Oliver annoyed me from the start, though I couldn’t put my finger on why. That was answered later, unfortunately.

Bock obviously put a lot of thought into the medical research side of his cancer-stricken patient. This was based on his own wife’s ride through leukemia, so the terminology and jargon is very in depth. You’ll want to have Google handy.

My interest in Alice & Oliver waned slowly throughout the book. I’m stopping at about 75%. Honestly, I just feel it has gone on too long, and I have lost feeling for the characters. It may be a product of having a busy weekend and just too much else to read, but I think it’s time to move on.

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NetGalley provided this ARC for an unbiased review. Releases April 5.

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