Sunday, February 27, 2011

Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin

I've never really cared for the Alice in Wonderland story. Still, there was something about hearing a imaginary account of real Alice's life that caught my imagination and I wanted to hear her tale, not Lewis Carroll's version. Since I didn't know a thing about Alice Liddell or much about Lewis Carroll's so everything was fresh to me. Yes, there is conjecture and events have been distorted to fit into the story, but there is a lot of truth in there too.

Broken up into three sections, the first deals with young Alice and her relationship with Mr. Dodgson and her older sister, Ina, who's her competition. At times this part is very rough, which it should be since it deals with a pedophiliac liaison. My attention was fully captured.Sections two and three were less distressing, but they also had less detail and jumped around more.

I had to remind myself several times that this is fiction and not a biography, because at times it felt completely real. The book is well-written some parts excelled. I don't believe it's the fault of the author, at least not entirely, but more than likely due to how the book affected me. The author does clarify events she exaggerated, tweaked or didn't change at all, and how she incorporated them into the book, which I appreciate. Overall, I can say that I loved this book.

4 Stars

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