Book Review, Historical Fiction

Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin

This book is fiction, but reads like a biography.  Melanie Benjamin did a great job of combining fact with fiction and/or speculation as to the relationship between the very real characters of Alice Liddell Hargreaves (aka Alice in Wonderland) and Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll).

Their relationship was disturbing at best.  Apparently, Rev. Dodgson had a preference of photographing young girls in sometimes inappropriate attire and inappropriate positions.  The author found that the real relationship between Alice and Rev. Dodgson suddenly stopped when Alice was around 11 years old and Ms. Benjamin using speculation as to what really transpired between them.  Whatever it was, it seemed to ruin Alice’s reputation and not only prevented her from marrying the man of her dreams, but to “settle” for a man who loved her for who she was.

Alice lived with the label of Alice in Wonderland for many years and her life seemed to be filled with sadness which she unconsciously tied to the Lewis Carroll’s book.

A very well-written book that I couldn’t put down.