Melanie Benjamin’s phenomenal debut is here at San Diego County Library! In Alice I Have Been: A Novel, Benjamin draws on one of the most enduring relationships in children’s literature by spinning out the heartbreaking story of the real-life Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Her research into the lives of Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) and the family of Alice Liddell is apparent as she takes circumstances shrouded in mystery and colors in the spaces to reveal a vibrant and passionate Alice. Born into a Victorian family of privilege, free-spirited Alice catches the attention of family friend Dodgson and serves as the muse for both his photography as well as his writing.
Their bond, however, is misunderstood by Alice’s family, and though she is forced to sever their friendship, she is forever haunted by their connection as her life becomes something of a chain of heartbreaks. As an adult, Alice tries to escape her past, but it is only when she finally embraces it that she truly finds the happiness that eluded her. Focusing on three eras in Alice’s life, Benjamin offers a finely wrought portrait of Alice that seamlessly blends fact with fiction.
This book comes at the perfect time to capitalize on the renewed interest in Alice as Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is released in theaters March 5. Why not check out Alice I Have Been: A Novel to gain some new insight into this timeless tale, or re-visit Lewis Carroll’s original Alice in Wonderland!