Alice and Oliver by Charles Bock is the story of Alice’s diagnosis with cancer (in 1993) and her struggle to survive. Alice and her husband, Oliver have a five-month old daughter named Doe (poor kid). Alice, Oliver, and Doe are on their way to Alice’s hometown to visit her mother for Thanksgiving when Alice becomes very sick. when Alice falls ill and is taken to Dr. Glenn. Dr. Glenn discovers that Alice has an extremely low white count and immediately has her transferred by ambulance to the hospital. The book follows Alice through the hospital, doctor’s appointments, struggle to get a nanny, understanding her insurance, billing issues, filling out the endless forms at each doctor, and her various treatments (we get details on each procedure, how the medicines affect her). We get to see how this affects Alice and Oliver (their relationship). Read Alice and Oliver to find out if Alice survives.
Alice and Oliver is written like Alice opened her mouth, started talking and never shut up. We get details on everything (it is too much) from people to rooms (it is excruciating). There is one paragraph that is particularly disgusting, and I highly suggest you avoid it (trust me you do not want to know and have this visual in your head). I really, really did not want to finish this book (I started skimming after the first hundred pages). I give Alice and Oliver 1 out of 5 stars. I just did not enjoy this novel. I read fiction as an escape and this book is more like non-fiction or reality. This type of novel should tug at the reader’s heartstrings, but instead I found myself disliking the main characters (especially the husband). The epilogue (takes us to 2010) was unusual. They only thing it really lets us know is if Alice survived. The author’s writing style did not help this book. It was disjointed and confusing. You were never sure who was talking (Alice, Oliver). I’m sorry but this novel was just not for me.
You can follow Charles Bock on Amazon and on Facebook. I received a complimentary copy of Alice and Oliver in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.
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