Thursday, September 24, 2009

Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin

Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin

Publisher: Delacorte (January 2010)
Category: Historic Fiction
351 Pages

But oh my dear, I am tired of being Alice in Wonderland. Does it sound ungrateful?

Alice Liddell Hargreaves's life has been a richly woven tapestry: As a young woman, wife, mother, and widow, she's experienced intense passion, great privilege, and greater tragedy. But as she nears her eighty-first birthday, she knows that, to the world around her, she is and will always be only "Alice."

That story, a wild tale of rabbits, queens, and a precocious young child, becomes a sensation the world over. Its author, a shy, stuttering Oxford professor, does more than immortalize Alice—he changes her life forever. But even he cannot stop time, as much as he might like to. And as Alice's childhood slips away, a peacetime of glittering balls and royal romances gives way to the urgent tide of war.

For Alice, the stakes could not be higher, for she is the mother of three grown sons, soldiers all. Yet even as she stands to lose everything she treasures, one part of her will always be the determined, undaunted Alice of the story, who discovered that life beyond the rabbit hole was an astonishing journey.

A love story and a literary mystery, Alice I Have Been brilliantly blends fact and fiction to capture the passionate spirit of a woman who was truly worthy of her fictional alter ego, in a world as captivating as the Wonderland only she could inspire.

Oh wow. Just.... Wow. I loved this book. I could barely put it down - it was that good. It's almost rendered me speechless.

Alice I Have Been is a novel version of the Finding Neverland movie - except with Alice in Wonderland.

Alice was a very spunky character. She was the most tomboyish of her sisters which made me immediately like her. She does turn into a spunky woman, but you still do see bits and pieces of her childhood self throughout the story. The other characters are great, but Alice I Have Been is more of a character study so I won't go into the others to much.

The story jumps suddenly about three times. There's four Alices in the story: child Alice, young woman Alice, middle age Alice, and elderly Alice. This story really does teach how something so simple as asking a childhood crush to write down a story can change the course of your life. She constantly fights with the version of Alice that was immortalized in Lewis Carroll's book.

I really don't know what to say about this book now. The writing was excellent. The plot was unique. I love how Alice meets Peter later on in the book. That was fun. The best part of this book? Everything about it was based on Alice's real life.




  1. This sounds so good! I'd never even heard of it before you posted that you were reading it, and now I really want to read it :)

  2. You made it sound so good. I really liked Finding Neverland so hopefully I will like this book too.

  3. Hmm, I've heard a lot about this book. I think I may check it out. Great review! Very well written.

  4. I haven't heard of this one till your mailbox/review post. You gave it and A+ which generally makes a book go on to my reading list- So I must find Alice I have been. Thanks for the review.