What Alice Forgot – Book Review

By: Liane Moriarty

“That was the day Alice Mary Love went to the gym and carelessly misplaced a decade of her life.” 

Book Summary:

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty starts with the main character, Alice Love, waking up after hitting her head and becoming unconscious.  Due to this fall, Alice has forgotten the last 10 years of her life.   She wakes up believing she is 29, happily married and pregnant with her first child.  However, she is actually 39, separated from her husband and a mother of three. 

Alice spends a couple of days in the hospital as doctors try to understand why she has lost her memory.  While Alice is there, she tries to piece together the last ten years of her life and the relationships with friends and family that have grown or fizzled out. When she returns home, she still doesn’t recognize her fully renovated home or her three children.  She also longs for her husband to come home and be with her, despite the constant reminders that they are separated.  As she explores her new life, she comes across familiar scents or locations that would trigger parts of her memory.  These moments were often short and broken up, making it very hard for Alice to make sense of what she saw or felt.   This continues for Alice for a week as she tries to grapple with her failed marriage and her three unknown children. 

After a week, there is a Mother’s day brunch event that Alice is running at her children’s school.  It is here where things all come together, and after a brief fainting episode, Alice awakens with her memory back. 

Once she has gotten her memory back, she grapples with the life she now remembers and the life she hoped for herself as a young soon-to-be mother.  How she decides to merge these two lives forms the ending of this book.

“But maybe every life looked wonderful if all you saw was the photo albums.”

My Review:

What Alice Forgot was incredibly thought-provoking and emotional.  It brings into focus the complexities of marriage and raising children.  It also reminds the reader not to lose who they are and what they stand for as they get older. Alice could hardly recognize who she was at 39 and that saddened her. It had me wondering what I envisioned of my life when I was 20 and how happy I would be with the person I have become today. 

“I’d be at work where people respected my opinions, said Nick. And then, I’d come home, and it was like I was the village idiot.”

This story totally consumed me; I wanted to know what would happen with her marriage, her relationship with her sister and the new friendships she formed within the last 10 years of her life.  Despite this story’s seriousness, Moriarty also includes some humor, especially with 29-year-old Alice navigating life with three young children.  These interactions were hilarious.  I also really liked the way this story ended; it perfectly concluded the story of Alice Love.

“The medication, the hormones and the relentless frustrations of our lives make us bitchy, and you’re not allowed to be bitchy in public, or people won’t like you.”

I do, however, have one small criticism of the book.  I found some parts of this story were a bit redundant.  I think Elizabeth’s story adds a layer of seriousness and complexity to the story that is definitely important.  However, I found her journal entries felt repeated and too detailed.  Sometimes I found myself skimming over those sections because I knew what the premise was, and the lengthy details weren’t necessary.  Moriarty also includes love letters by Alice’s grandmother, Frannie.  I enjoyed these letters, but I still found them to be more of a distraction from the main story. 

Overall, this was an excellent read, and I will definitely be reading more of Liane Moriarty’s books in the future.

More books by Liane Moriarty:

*Big Little Lies (This book was made into an HBO series)

*The Husband’s Secret

*Truly Madly Guilty


Toddler Transition From Crib to Regular Bed

Why transition now?

This past weekend my husband and I transitioned our 2.5-year-old out of her crib and into a regular bed. We decided to do this for multiple reasons:

  1. When travelling, our daughter slept in her PlayPen, but recently she learned to climb out of it. Therefore, we needed an alternative.  
  2. She has learned how to climb out of her crib. 
  3. We have been hearing her hit her arms and legs on the crib throughout the night, which was now causing her to wake up. Another indication that we needed a bigger sleeping arrangement for her.  

Truthfully, we wanted to keep her in her crib for as long as possible, the crib made our life much more comfortable, but we knew it was time to make the switch.

Preparing for the Transition:

Our daughter is good at napping for extended periods and sleeping right through the night (we are fortunate, she is a good sleeper), BUT she always throws an absolute fit when she realizes it’s bedtime. The only reason she stays and eventually falls asleep is because she can’t get out of her crib. She loves her sleep, but she doesn’t love going to sleep. Therefore, we knew that this transition could be a tough one for us. We knew we needed to have a plan for how to transition her so that she stays in bed and goes to sleep. I turned to my friends and did a bit of research to get some tips for this transition.   

 Below are the tips we followed and seem (so far) to have worked for us:

  1. Getting ready for the transition: We began talking to our daughter about her new “big kid” bed. We also read her a children’s’ book about a little elephant transitioning from his crib to a big bed. The book was called “A Big Kid Bed is Coming” by Liz Fletcher. She loved the book! I think this step is pretty important; they can visualize the change and understand it a bit better.
  2. The excitement factor: Many people suggested enticing her to her new bed by adding lots of stuffed animals and colourful bed sheets with some of her favourite books. This will hopefully convince her to go to bed and stay there. We did this, and she loved it! She lined up all her stuffed animals and put her new sheets over them so they could sleep with her.
  3. Getting the room ready: Babyproof the room, like REALLY baby proof it. They will be walking around enjoying their new freedom and wanting to check out their surroundings. We took out lamps, toys and anything she could climb. We basically left her books and her dresser (which we bolted to the wall). We also added a night light because I didn’t want her walking into anything when she got out of bed.  
  4. Protecting her from rolling out of bed: I had bought one bed rail but realized once the bed was constructed, I needed two. I panicked a bit, but a friend of mine gave me an excellent tip. Take a couple of towels, roll them together in a long roll and put it under the mattress sheet along the side of the bed to help them from rolling right off the bed. So far it has worked just as well as the baby rail, so big win! Since this is a new transition, though, I have added lots of carpet and padding on the floor just in case. 
  5. When to begin: I was told to start this process during her afternoon nap; I was a bit weary because I love her nap time and my break time but, it was definitely a good idea. She walked out many times before falling asleep, but she was more prepared for bedtime that evening.   
  6. Make bedtime a bit earlier than usual: I started bedtime about 30 min early because I knew she would be getting up and walking around at the beginning. She left the room many times, but each time we held her hand and brought her right back to bed, reminding her it was bedtime, and she had to go to sleep. On night 1, we did this about six times. By the last time, she realized she couldn’t come out, stayed in her bed and eventually fell asleep. This was about 1 hour after her usual bedtime.

Some other things to consider:

  • Putting the video monitor back into the room to keep an eye on them as they explore their new freedom.
  • Lock the bedroom door if they don’t stop leaving their room. I know this is controversial, but they couldn’t get out of their crib before, so I don’t see a difference with locking their door now. 
  • If they don’t stay in bed for nap time, try quiet time. Tell them they still need a rest and can quietly read books in bed until mom/dad gets them. There are two reasons to do this: they are tired and need a little rest, and mom still needs a break.  
  • I haven’t nighttime potty trained my daughter yet; I am not sure how I will add this to the transition, but if you have any hints/tips, please let me know!

One final piece of advice:

Like everything with our little ones, you’ll have to be patient. Some toddlers may fight this change, and their sleep may get negatively affected for a while; some may love this new change and go right to sleep; there is no telling how our children will respond, so don’t beat yourself up if it isn’t going as you anticipated. With these transitions, I have learned never to have any expectations, just make the change, and roll with whatever happens. Changing your toddler’s routine is hard on your little one, but it is also hard on you. Make sure you give yourself a break from time to time, eat a slice of cake, go for a long walk, whatever it is you need to do to reset. Also, if my tips aren’t working, then ignore them and make your own. You know your child better than anyone, and there is no perfect process! 

Good luck!

If you have any additional tips or would like to write about your experience with your baby and their transition, please comment below! 


The Sh!t No One Tells You About Pregnancy – Book Review

By: Dawn Dais

How I came across this book:

I actually didn’t choose this book; my husband bought it for me for Christmas when I was about two months pregnant. He knew I was pretty excited but also very nervous about this new phase in my life. He also knew that I would hate to read any mom or parenting books that were too complex and serious or gave strict dos and don’ts about becoming new parents. When he read this title, it made him laugh and decided to buy it for me, and I am so glad he did.

A little something about this book:

This book is written by Dawn Dais, focusing around the time she became pregnant and how she felt as a pregnant woman. She gives her readers all the raw and detailed feelings she had throughout her pregnancy but she does this all in an entertaining and comical way. She also includes partner sections where she offers beneficial tips on how our partners can help us through pregnancy and the first couple months of motherhood. These are usually one or two paragraphs love, my husband really enjoyed reading them.

My review:

While I was pregnant, I really enjoyed reading this book. There are many pregnancy books out there and books written to prepare you for becoming new parents, but this one really connected with me. I wanted someone to walk me through the changes I was going through, but in a fun way. I learned a lot about what was happening to me and my body during my pregnancy, and Dais also prepared me for labour and the first couple months of motherhood. The way she wrote about her experiences resonated with me, and I am so glad I read this book.

For any newly pregnant women who are a bit nervous about pregnancy and being a mom, this is the perfect book for you.


Maternity Leave- Book Review

By: Julie Halpern

I bought this book near the end of my pregnancy as my maternity leave was about to begin. I was concerned about how much I would enjoy my maternity leave. No one I knew had a baby or was even pregnant and I was worried I would feel very alone at home all day, everyday. I also enjoy being busy, whether that is with work things or family things, I enjoy having things to do! For this reason, I was concerned I would feel bored during my maternity leave. I knew I would be busy taking care of my new baby but, I knew I would be needing more.

While I was thinking these thoughts, I decided to visit my local bookstore. As I was looking through the aisles I stumbled upon this book and I thought it must be a sign! I decided to buy it that day and begin reading it as soon as possible.

The book is pretty short and easy to read which was really nice. Julie Halpern made me quickly realize that I wasn’t alone in my fears. She comically discussed her approach to maternity leave and how she dealt with her fears. I should also mention that this is an American book so her maternity leave was, I believe, 4 months. In Canada parents get up to 18 months of maternity (or paternity), I returned to work at 13 months though, still much more time to fill then Halpern.

I actually gave birth before I finished the book, which turned out to be a good thing because then I could turn to this book about all the constant mom fears I had all day long with a newborn. I also quickly learned that there is no time for boredom within the first 3 months of motherhood. This book made me feel so much better about all the feelings I was having as a new mom on maternity leave and for that reason, I will always be grateful for this book!