Alice & Oliver

Alice & Oliver

A Novel

eBook - 2016
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The award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Children has created an unflinching yet deeply humane portrait of a young family’s journey through a medical crisis, laying bare a couple’s love and fears as they fight for everything that’s important to them. New York, 1993. Alice Culvert is a caring wife, a doting new mother, a loyal friend, and a soulful artist—a fashion designer who wears a baby carrier and haute couture with equal aplomb. In their loft in Manhattan’s gritty Meatpacking District, Alice and her husband, Oliver, are raising their infant daughter, Doe, delighting in the wonders of early parenthood. Their life together feels so vital and full of promise, which makes Alice’s sudden cancer diagnosis especially staggering. In the span of a single day, the couple’s focus narrows to the basic question of her survival. Though they do their best to remain brave, each faces enormous pressure: Oliver tries to navigate a labyrinthine healthcare system and handle their mounting medical bills; Alice tries to be hopeful as her body turns against her. Bracing themselves for the unthinkable, they must confront the new realities of their marriage, their strengths as partners and flaws as people, how to nourish love against all odds, and what it means to truly care for another person.  Inspired by the author’s life, Alice & Oliver is a deeply affecting novel written with stunning reserves of compassion, humor, and wisdom. Alice Culvert is an extraordinary character—a woman of incredible heart and spirit—who will remain in memory long after the final page. Praise for Alice & Oliver “This hauntingly powerful novel follows a family’s fight for survival in the face of illness. A stirring elegy to a marriage.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “A rewarding reading experience . . . a testament to the resilience of humans and our willingness to forgive.”—San Francisco Chronicle “The novel’s power is in its two characters’ messy negotiation of their fears, errors and shifting affections. . . . Bock offers a forceful reminder that there are plenty of roiling emotions underneath that till-death-do-us-part.”—Los Angeles Times “[A] heart-wrenching story of a young couple whose lives change when Alice gets diagnosed with cancer . . . a refreshingly unsentimental look at the vicious disease.”—Entertainment Weekly “Alice & Oliver [has a] tough-minded commitment to truth-telling.”—The Washington Post “Even more than the meticulous details of drugs, treatments and side effects, Bock’s tender portrayal of [his characters] in all their desolation gives [Alice & Oliver] its ring of truth. . . . I loved this novel.”—Marion Winik, Newsday “Alice & Oliver shows that, even in a situation that’s about as terrible as it can be, there can still exist happiness, surprise, and life, that strange strong spirit that’s with us until the end.”—The Boston Globe “The most honest, unsentimentally powerful novel about cancer that I’ve ever read.”—Michael Christie, The Globe & Mail “Wrenchingly powerful . . . Bock chronicles the daily struggles of a young wife and mother facing her own imminent mortality. This is a soul portrait of a family in crisis, written with a fearless clarity and a deep understanding of the bonds that can hold two people together even in the darkest hour.”—Richard Price From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: [S.l.]: Random House Publishing Group, 2016
ISBN: 9780812988475
Branch Call Number: 3M CLOUD LIBRARY
Characteristics: 416 p
Additional Contributors: CLOUDLIBRARY


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Oct 29, 2018

Eh. Characters weren't likeable enough for me to care about what happened to any of them. I could Alice would be the kind of woman I can't stand and would just roll my eyes at constantly. Oliver's just a bit pathetic. The Merv character was written very poorly. The book goes on for 300 hundred pages about her cancer and then wraps up, cures, and sends her home in the last 10 pages (not counting the completely unnecessary epilogue. ) I understand how writing this novel would have been therapeutic for the author, but I think it would have been a much more impactful story if he had written the true events of his wife's battle. Completed 25/10/18.

Oct 08, 2016

I slogged through 100 pages of this very depressing book before I just couldn't read anymore. I'd like to think that the subject matter hit a little too close to home for me, as I lost my beloved sister to cancer last year. But in reality, sadly, it was more the author's poor writing skills. The characters seemed like cardboard cutouts dealing with every obstacle imaginable, in their fight to save her life.
I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.

Aug 22, 2016

Cathartic thoughts expressed on stem cell transplants based on author's life experience.

Could have been better written in 300 pages or less (400 as is) - many unnecessary case studies, trips to the past, and other memorabilia irrelevant to main plot. Under-developed sections on relationships but overdevelopment on surrounding circumstances.

Cover is not inspiring and does not reflect depth of book.

Do not understand why it takes place in 1993 when author lived through this in 2009-2010 - medical references have been superseded in past 20 years. I accompanied someone through a stem cell transplant in 2010 and it was nothing like this was described.

The one line I have noted for future reference for issues between couples: you can be right or we can be married! THAT is worth saving!

Jul 29, 2016

A Librarian once told me that if you can't get into the story at page 50 , then forget it. I struggled through this one dimensional tripe to page 50 before thumbing through some other pages. This must have been therapy for the author, from a diary he may have kept. He should have taken a better class in writing.

athompson10 Jun 16, 2016

Wow. A love story, the story of a marriage and the story of a woman fighting cancer all in one. If you've ever gone through chemo or witnessed a loved one's battle with cancer up close, this book will ring true. Some of it is almost unbearably grim and wrenching, but it's a sad beautiful story.

ChristchurchLib May 15, 2016

In this riveting, emotional book, a dynamic young woman -- a fashion designer, wife, and new mother -- is struck down by a mysterious and hard-hitting illness that turns out to be leukemia. As her brutal treatment progresses, what had been a happy, strong marriage is weakened by her physical deterioration, a labyrinthine healthcare system, and fear. From the very beginning, the heart-wrenching narrative will enthrall, so realistic is the depiction -- with good reason, as author Charles Bock writes from personal experience.


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