The Liberation of Alice Love by Abby McDonald
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I could not put this book down. No lie. After several duds, The Liberation of Alice Love restored my faith in reading for pleasure.
The opening paragraph was unexpectedly wonderful and had me hooked. How can you not be hooked with it starts with a vibrator? A vibrator, people! It seemed that the book started a little slow and bogged with mundane (at the time) details, but it soon became apparent that the buildup was necessary. The identity of the thief was a brilliant surprise.
This book did an excellent job of showing how identity theft affects a person and how much of a mess is left to clean up. Alice's heartbreak at being betrayed is written so well that you feel it too. I admit that after the first third of the book I wanted to check my bank statement and credit report. I might have even locked my file cabinet.
Alice herself is a great character. She's perfectly flawed and engaging enough that you appreciate the way she slowly changes. Rather than let the setbacks ruin her life, she wallows for a moment then sets out to reclaim her life. She's strong but not unbelievably so.
The cast of secondary characters are all well-developed and each sparkle in their own way. The sister was my favorite with her hidden depth and her evolving relationship with Alice. I thought the romance might have been more of a focal point in the story, but it is so nicely woven into the tale that it works.
I found this to be a delightful story of a woman reclaiming her life after betrayal and theft but deciding the same old routines no longer work. Her struggles, self-doubt, and eventual resolution are immensely relatable. Who doesn't want the chance to live a more exciting life - even for one night?
Though the middle dragged slightly for a few chapters and I would have liked to see more of the romantic side of the story, I utterly loved this book and cannot wait to pass it along.
Think I was kidding about the vibrator? I wasn't. Here's how it starts:
"It began with a vibrator. A smooth, stainless steel, jewel-encrusted vibrator that—according to the ribbon-trimmed user manual—cost over seven hundred pounds. Even Alice, who valued her orgasms as much as the next woman, had to wonder what delirious pleasures it could possibly deliver to justify that kind of expense."
See... how can you pass that up?
Disclaimer: I received this book through Goodreads First Reads.
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