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.” Her life was permanently dog-eared at one fateful moment in her tenth year–the golden summer day she urged a grown-up friend to write down one of his fanciful stories.
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.
Alice I Have Been is Alice’s story. A story of a young girl who’s innocence is mature and whose life is anything but smooth and simple. The story started out really slow, so in the begining it was hard to get attached.. but eventually the book gets you hooked up as the book flash forwards to Alice as a young woman. This book is simply a work of fiction, inspired by the facts and rumors concerning the life of one Alice Pleasance Liddell. In Ms. Benjamin’s book we see three phases of Alice’s life : a strong passionate child , a love-struck young woman and an aging mother and wife. The first part of the story is the lifeline , where Alice and her sisters live an enchanted life at Oxford in the company of Mr. Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll. Here, Alice and Mr. Dodgson share a strange relationship that leads to the creation of the famous book. “Alice I Have Been” to me seemed as not a book for everyone.. The author tries to base the story with the known historical facts. First, it is still controversial about what really happened to cause the break between Dodgson and the Liddels. Melanie Benjamin attempts to fill in the blanks; and while she makes an interesting effort, in the end it’s still not that convincing. . I thought it odd , that nobody thought that there was anything strange about Alice’s relationship with Dodgson !!!! Anyway, considering it’s a fiction it’s up to the readers to think and derive any sort of conclusion they want to…
Ms. Benjamin is a lovely writer. It’s quiet a creative novel, given the number of books and essays and critical essays have been written about Lewis Caroll and “Alice In Wonderland”…
I don’t know, whether I would recommend it to everybody, what I can say is give it a try… I bought the book, is it a keeper? I don’t think so… is it worth a try reading the book? Yes. it is, if you borrow it..
This review is part of “The Alice in Wonderland Challenge” hosted by Jenny from “Take Me Away”.
This task is from Part 1 – Read and review “Alice I Have Been” by Melanie Benjamin (publish date December 2009)