Alice I Have Been

Benjamin, Melanie. Alice I Have Been. Read by Samantha Eggar. New York: Random House Audio, —-.

I fell in love with Alice I Have Been straight away. Alice Liddell is the famed little girl who took a tumble down the rabbit hole. Benjamin has taken her life story and presented it in a fictional yet spellbinding way. Starting with Alice as a precocious seven year old who befriends a subtly sinister gentleman by the name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Everyone turns their heads to ignore the slightly inappropriate relationship Alice has with stuttering Mr. Dodgson. I found myself asking what was Benjamin’s motive for so much alluding to impropriety? There is a lot of trembling that goes on…It whispers of pedophilia and the strange this is, Alice, even at seven, is perceptive to know something is amiss. However by age ten, almost eleven she is the instigator, asking Mr. Dodgson to “wait” for her, a statement that is accompanied by the proverbial wink and nod. Years later, Alice is rumored to be involved with Prince Leopold and her childhood relationship with Mr. Dodgson is all but a faded memory…until the Prince needs to ask his mum for her approval to marry Alice. It is then all of the allusions to impropriety make sense. Everything begins to make sense.
I have only one complaint and it’s an odd one. I didn’t like Alice as child or an adult. I found her to be rude, snobbish and spoiled throughout her entire life. But. But! But, I loved Benjamin’s writing. Know how I can tell? I borrowed the audio AND print versions of the book because listening to and from work just wasn’t enough.

I don’t know what it is with audio books but lately every one that I listen to has been read by someone with an accent…usually British.

Author fact: Melanie used a pseudonym to write Alice I Have Been. She recently published a book about Anne Morrow Lindbergh. What a coincidence since I have been reading Lindbergh’s books since January.

Book trivia:Alice I Have Been is Benjamin’s first historical fiction.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called simply “Oxford: literary fiction” (p 171).

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