Author: Judith Hooper
Publish Date: October 13, 2015
Source: TLC Book Tours
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Arm yourself against my dawn, which may at any moment cast you and Harry into obscurity, Alice James writes her brother William in 1891.
In Judith Hooper’s magnificent novel, zingers such as this fly back and forth between the endlessly articulate and letter-writing Jameses, all of whom are geniuses at gossiping.
And the James family did, in fact, know everyone intellectually important on both sides of the Atlantic, but by the time we meet her in 1889, Alice has been sidelined and is lying in bed in Leamington, England, after taking London by storm.
We don’t know what’s wrong with Alice. No one does, though her brothers have inventive theories, and the best of medical science offers no help. So, with Alice in bed, we travel to London and Paris, where the James children spent part of their unusual childhood. We sit with her around the James family’s dinner table, as she – the youngest and the only girl – listens to the intellectual elite of Boston, missing nothing. "
My Two Cents:
"Alice in Bed" is the story of Alice James, the sister of Henry and William James. Both of the brothers are well known for their contributions to literature and psychology. This book seeks to give a voice to Alice, whose own legacy has been largely overshadowed by her brothers. She is absolutely fascinating as well. I love historical fiction that gives voice to those who may be almost lost to history as Alice is. This is a fascinating portrait of a person that I was not at all familiar with before.
Alice's family is well known in the social circles of Boston. The author draws a lot on the personal letters and writing of the various characters in order to bring them to life. I especially like how the author was able to capture Alice's quick wit and sharpness throughout the book. The author captures her innermost thoughts. Alice suffers from many health issues throughout the book and it was so interesting to see how this affects the way that she sees the world. I really feel like I got to know her through this book. If you like vivid characters, Alice is for you!
The writing of the book was good. I loved that the book was told from Alice's perspective. She has a very unique way of seeing the world that made for an interesting read. The historical detail is used effectively to create a true feeling of time and place. The pace moves along rather nicely and kept me reading! I enjoyed getting to know Alice James through this book!