Alice I Have Been

Alice I Have Been: A Novel - Melanie Benjamin

First up, I have confess that before reading Alice I Have Been, I did not know that the story of Alice in Wonderland was based on a real girl, nor that Lewis Carroll was a pen-name..

Hell, I haven't even read Alice in Wonderland. Seen the Disney movie, yes, as well as the Burton's 2010 version. It's likely that I never read the book as a child because I can remember that the Disney version scared me as a child.

When I picked up this novel, I don't think I was still fully aware that it was based on a true events, on true people. My mindset for the first half of the book was reading a historical fictional novel, when really, it was fiction with elements of truth. This did dawn on me more when reading the latter pages, as Alice did more often refer to her being Alice in Wonderland.

The only real problem I had with this novel was the beginning part. Alice is first a young child of five in the beginning of the novel, but does grow into a lady of marriageable age, and then a wife, before becoming a widower. It was the parts with Alice as a child that disturbed me. (view spoiler)

So I was very glad when the time skip occurred and we met Alice as a young adult. The portrayal of Alice was very believable throughout the whole novel, as the precocious child turned to a feisty young woman to finally a world weary older woman. I thoroughly enjoyed Alice's character voice throughout this novel. She was likable in that she knew her flaws, and you could see her character development clearly throughout the novel.

In the end I gave this book four stars as it was enjoyable, however the first half did almost stop me from reading the whole novel. I'm glad I did though, as this was an insightful and compelling novel to read.