Review: Alice in Bed by Cathleen Schine

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Stricken by a mysterious malady, college sophomore Alice Brody has suddenly lost the use of her legs. How does a bright, beautiful, and now immobile young woman proceed with her passions? As she convalesces in a Manhattan hospital, Alice finds herself attended by a motley group of visitors: indifferent nurses, doctors both good and bad, divorcing parents, and eccentric relatives. But Alice is a creature of many charms, whose wit can enchant those bearing even the worst bedside manner. With a captivating heroine of great comic depth, Alice in Bed is balm for whatever ails you.

I enjoyed this little book (I also enjoyed the way the cover felt, lovely and textured!). If you’re expecting something bleak, you will be pleasantly surprised; though situated in a hospital where 19 year-old Alice is unable to move her legs for reasons unknown, Alice in Bed is witty and amusing, quite unexpectedly.

Its cast of characters do sometimes seem like exaggerated caricatures but this is not to the novel’s detriment, in fact, I rather liked it. Alice was by far my favourite and though I find her taste in men somewhat dismal, her interactions with the other characters and inner monologuing can be endearing. Not an incredible amount happens in this book, it is largely and successfully character-driven.

Alice in Bed is a quick read (hence the short review!), you could get through it in an evening. If, like me, you read it over the course of two days and don’t use book marks, you might find the lack of chapters hampering. However, losing your place for a small while is a cheap price to pay for the continuation of your reading experience – it’s worth finding your place again.

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