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Review by Suze
Dovie regularly visits the graveyard where she can spend time with her fiancé William, the man she loved. He killed himself just weeks before their wedding. Dovie doesn't know why, but she hopes to find answers by visiting William's grave. At the graveyard she sees a woman who leaves a letter on the grave of a woman named Alice. Dovie can't help herself and her curiosity is getting the better of her, so she reads the letter. While she was looking for information about William, Dovie discovers a complex story about a family she knows via her work instead. She starts to dig and gets more information through letters written by Alice. Slowly she finds out what happened to Alice. How did an English girl end up in a grave on the other side of the ocean?
By learning about the grief of two other women, a mother and a daughter, Dovie can finally start to heal and maybe moving on will finally bring the closure she so desperately needs. Dovie finds herself by reading letters written by a woman she didn't know. Alice's life story gives her the courage to move on. Dovie can't let go, she needs to get to the bottom of the mystery and by doing that she might find out more about her own situation as well.
Love, Alice is a beautiful story about the unfairness of life, secrets, loss, what unconditional love can do to you and hope. Barbara Davis writes about two strong, remarkable women who both lost someone very dear to them in a completely different way. When Alice was a teenager she went through a terrible traumatic experience that lasted a long time. Dovie's nightmare was quite a bit shorter, but due to the multitude of unanswered questions about William's death she can't let go. Both women deal with their grief in their own way. There are many differences, but in their sadness and loneliness there are also similarities. They are being consumed by their grief and strangely enough because of it life brings them chances instead of just desperation. I loved how many emotional layers Love, Alice has and Barbara Davis describes everything the main characters are feeling in an amazing empathic way. She obviously thoroughly understands what she's writing about and that moved me to tears several times.
Love, Alice isn't an easy read. There are many obstacles, difficulties and frightening situations and together they form a heartfelt compelling story. I was greatly impressed by both Dovie and Alice, after all they had to endure love is what makes them pull through, what drives them to live and stops them from giving in to their sadness. Life can be hard, but it can also surprise you in a good way, which is a wonderful message. While the topics Barbara Davis deals with are all heavy this little spark of brightness brings a perfect balance. I highly recommend Love, Alice, it's a fantastically written thought-provoking story.
Love, Alice is a great choice for readers who like beautiful, but realistic and sometimes sad stories about complicated family relationships, secrets and problems that can't easily be solved.