Putting Alice Back Together, Paperback

Putting Alice Back Together Paperback

3 out of 5 (3 ratings)


There's only so much sex, valium and red wine you can take to paper over the cracks...Alice is the friend you wish you had.

The girl who makes a party more fun, drinks wine out of a mug and makes you laugh while you're crying over an ex.

Alice is totally happy, everything is amazing and there is nothing at all to worry about...except, well: Her job was really great - 10 years ago.

She is in love with her best friend, but he's gay. Her credit card bills are under her bed unopened...But maybe the biggest problem for Alice is that she has a secret.

A secret so big she can't tell anyone. How do you keep a secret like that when everything is starting to fall apart? And once it's out there, how do you ever begin to put yourself back together again? 'If you like Jane Fallon, you'll love this book. Sharp, honest and funny.' - Now magazine


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin (UK)
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Romance
  • ISBN: 9781848450592


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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

The story surrounding this book is a good one, but I felt that there was a missed opportunity to delve more deeply in to the characters involved. More importantly, Alice herself didn't come to life as well as she could have done.She is a lovable woman who is a great friend, has a job which was great at the beginning, but fails to stimulate her now. She loves to party and can be relied upon to cheer everyone up. But Alice has a deep dark secret which has impacted on her whole life. It affects her relationships with everyone, but more particularly with men. As she reaches an age when friends and colleagues are getting pregnant and want to share their joy, Alice is unable to celebrate as much as she would like.I enjoyed the characterisations here, but I just wanted more! The relationship Alice has with her psychologist just didn't ring true for me and I ended up almost shouting at the pages to put things right. I also found it hard to believe that Alice could not have shared her secret with her very close friends. The secret, though sad, is not that shameful and the worst part for me is that the guy involved wasn't arrested either at the time, or subsequently. This book was made available to me, prior to publication, for an honest review.

Review by

Putting Alice Together Again is Carol Marinelli’s first contemporary women’s fiction title after publishing more than a dozen traditional romance titles with Harlequin. While there is a small thread of romance in this novel, Putting Alice Together Again is something very different altogether. Alice is certain that no one can guess at the secrets she hides, a bright smile and sleek hair style helps her pretend everything is okay, yet cracks are beginning to appear in Alice’s brittle veneer. Her buried memories of the past are pushing their way to the surface and Alice is plagued by anxiety attacks, self medicating with alcohol and Valium and sabotaging her career and relationships. With her life rapidly spiraling out of control, Alice is coming apart and she is not sure she will ever be able to pick up the pieces.What first strikes you about Alice in the opening chapters of the novel is her repressed anger, shame and bitterness. Seething at the casual remarks of her friend and lover in reaction to a news item, bitter at being required to rescue Nicole’s birthday party, ashamed of a brief sexual encounter in the restaurant bathroom with a man she barely knows, she is warped by thinly veiled contempt aimed at both herself and everyone around her. Despite such a an inauspicious introduction, as Alice’s story unfolded I found her an intriguing character for not only her many flaws but also the glimmer of vulnerability and pain that Marinelli reveals by alternating between Alice’s past and her present. Alice is the central figure so its essential the reader finds some sort of rapport with her. It’s not always easy though, she tends to wallow in self pity and is quite self centered. I’m not sure I ever really liked her much but as the link between Alice’s painful history and her current issues becomes more apparent, Alice slowly earned my sympathy and understanding.Given that Alice is written in the first person, Marinelli finds a good balance between the internal dialogue of her character and the external interaction with other characters, to use a trite phrase, she shows rather than tells which provides a breather from Alice’s intensity.Alice’s secret, when it becomes clear is shocking, despite being foreshadowed, and I admired Marinelli’s skill in drawing out the tension to the reveal that coincides with Alice’s present day crisis. It is a dark novel, thick with emotion and drama, and can feel a little oppressive. Evan as Alice begins to put her self back together, any optimism is muted.in Putting Alice Back Together the author explores a number of themes such as post traumatic shock, grief, denial and addiction but perhaps the most uplifting is her examination of friendship. Alice and Ros are friends but each hold back part of them selves stunting their closeness, through the course of the novel they learn the value of trust by revealing their vulnerabilities. The author also explores the importance of this intimate connection in romantic relationships by introducing Hugh who is willing to call Alice out on the things she is trying to hide.Putting Alice Back Together is not a light read, it is too full of fraught emotion and angst to dismiss easily. It is certainly capable of holding the readers interest though as an intriguing exploration of a very flawed and realistic character.

Review by

Alice seems from the outside to have it all. But she has a secret, and it's eating away at her. She finds herself in the hospital after an anxiety attack, trying to convince her friends that it's just a nut allergy. But it's more than that. It's interesting seeing how Alice tries to put herself back together in the context of a family and a friendship group where hers isn't the only secret, and it's interesting seeing how people react to the changes she tries to make in her life.