Alice is the story of a struggle. A struggle to belong and a struggle for self-worth but it is rare in that it is seldom sentimental for sentiment’s sake. Instead it progressively draws the reader through the stages in a young woman’s life as she comes to terms with her past and builds a better future.
Even though you identify with the protagonist, Alice, you also feel like an observer. You feel her pain and yet you also feel uncomfortable about the way in which she is treated and her struggle to make the decisions which will shape her life – as if somehow you could – or should – be able to guide her instead of being a bystander. It is a bitter-sweet experience.
Besides being a poignant coming of age story, it is an interesting read from the perspective of the way it is written. To say too much more would spoil it for future readers of this inaugural novel. The best way to find out what happens is to delve into the pages on this voyage of discovery. Whatever you make of it, there is sure to be part of you that identifies with Alice and recognises an implicit need for acceptance.
A review 2012