A very engaging novel tracing the myth as well as the shadowy facts surrounding the relationship of young Alice Liddell and Professor Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and the writing of Alice In Wonderland. There is some interesting examination of the loss (or destruction)of letters and documents that may have suggested possible inappropriate behavior and the author builds an intriguing story around this issue as well as a unique representation of Victorian Oxford. — Karen Frank
January 2010 Indie Next List
“Melanie Benjamin's Alice I Have Been is a richly woven fictional account of the life of the girl who became Alice in Wonderland. It's a mystery, and a love story, that follows Alice into adulthood after both tragic and wonderful experiences. I loved this creative and well-written book.”
— Doreen Pierson, Chapter One Book Store, Hamilton, MT
Part love story, part literary mystery, Melanie Benjamin’s spellbinding historical novel leads readers on an unforgettable journey down the rabbit hole, to tell the story of a woman whose own life became the stuff of legend. Her name is Alice Liddell Hargreaves, but to the world she’ll always be known simply as “Alice,” the girl who followed the White Rabbit into a wonderland of Mad Hatters, Queens of Hearts, and Cheshire Cats. Now, nearing her eighty-first birthday, she looks back on a life of intense passion, great privilege, and greater tragedy. First as a young woman, then as a wife, mother, and widow, she’ll experience adventures the likes of which not even her fictional counterpart could have imagined. Yet from glittering balls and royal romances to a world plunged into war, she’ll always be the same determined, undaunted Alice who, at ten years old, urged a shy, stuttering Oxford professor to write down one of his fanciful stories, thus changing her life forever.
About the Author
Melanie Benjaminlives in Illinois, where she is at work on her next novel.
“This is magic!” —Diana Gabaldon
“Excellent . . . a finely wrought portrait of Alice that seamlessly blends fact with fiction. This is book club gold.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A seamless tale of love, loss, and myth . . . storytelling at its finest.”—Sarah Addison Allen, author of The Girl Who Chased the Moon
“A smashing tale—mostly true—of the overlap of childhood and womanhood, a compelling mystery, an exposé of Victorian mores, an exploration of love that came too soon and too late, an explosive trail of emotions and human foibles, a heartbreak—written with compassion and grace: I loved it!” —Susan Vreeland, author of Clara and Mr. Tiffany
“The novel doesn’t just fill in the blanks of a literary life, but tells the story of someone who was more than a muse; Alice may have been immortalized as a girl but, as Benjamin imagines, she grew up to be a great woman.”—New York Post