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Alice I Have Been

Bookreporter.com Bets On...

Alice I Have Been

January 2010

A confession here. In my literary memories, I had forgotten that Lewis Carroll was a pseudonym for Charles Dodgson, and it also had slipped my mind that the Alice in ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND had been fashioned after a real little girl named Alice.

I say this since I approached ALICE I HAVE BEEN with my own sense of wonderment as I read it --- and I loved it. Melanie Benjamin has written a book that is so rich in back story and historical references that I found myself feeling like I was plunged into Alice’s world. It made me want to read more about Dodgson and re-read the classic tale. For the way it transported me and did that, this book is a Bets On for me. It was a treat.

In ALICE I HAVE BEEN, Benjamin imagines 80-year-old Alice looking back on her life and her role in the story of Alice. At one point she says, “But oh my dear, I am tired of being Alice in Wonderland. Does that sound ungrateful?” The story opens with lush descriptions of Alice’s early years living in Oxford in a pampered privileged world where keeping one’s dress clean and white consumed her days. This is where she met Dodgson. We then see Alice fall in love, not with the man who would be her husband, but rather a man who is a prince. And finally we see her marrying, raising a family and looking back. All the while we are seeing not just her life, but rather her life as the girl in that fairy tale. While Alice fell through the looking glass, readers here will be turning the pages to see the story unfold.

Alice I Have Been
by Melanie Benjamin

  • Publication Date: December 21, 2010
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • ISBN-10: 0385344147
  • ISBN-13: 9780385344142