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What a page turner!
I LOVED this book, and I rarely say that about any book. The plot is intricate and grabs you immediately, the characters are fascinating, and the entire story is flawless in its delivery. I read it in a weekend and have done nothing but recommend it ever since. It is a combination mystery, study of family dynamics and the impact illness can have on those relationships, and a deep exploration of the complexities of friendship. The main character is so clearly depicted I continued to think of her for days after I had finished the book. Amazing read!
Turn of Mind by Alice Laplante
One can quickly run out of adjectives describing this novel but I will use chilling and heartbreaking. The reader follows Dr. Jennifer White, age 64, former orthopedic surgeon, as she sinks in the grip of dementia. This story is brilliantly related as she lapses in and out of reality, remembers farther and farther back, secrets of the past are revealed as the filters in her mind disintegrate and her mood changes become more pronounced. She is also being investigated for the murder of her best friend by a woman police detective who refuses to give up, believing that if she talks to Jennifer on the right day the truth will be revealed.
Carolyn G. (Catskill, New York)
When visions are enough
Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante is that unusual combination of psychological character study and murder mystery which does not disappoint on many levels. Foremost in quality is the format of this novel which is written through the eyes of a retired vascular surgeon, Jennifer White, who is suffering from Alzheimer's and is "a person of interest" in the murder of her best friend, Amanda O'Toole.
Kathleen W. (Appleton, WI)
Turn of Mind
Amanda has been found dead in her kitchen with four of her fingers surgically removed and Jennifer either cannot or does not remember being involved in her murder. Told in an episodic internal narrative sprinkled with dialogue between Jennifer and her children, her caregiver and a personally involved police detective, this story draws the reader in with its insight into the slow deterioration caused by dementia. The novel is a quick read, which is not to say that it is not arresting or compelling in nature. I came away from reading this book with a greater empathy for the inner world of those suffering from this dreadful disease.
The murder plot was secondary, the police work minimal and the ending a not-unexpected twist. Overall I would recommend this novel to readers whose lives are touched by Alzheimer's as well as to those who are looking for a quick read on a serious medical subject.
This is one of the best books that I have read in a very long time. The author captures the tragedy of early-onset dementia in a skillfully crafted and very readable format. The characters are memorable and the interplay of their relationships added to the complexity of the book. I will definitely be recommending this book to both of my book clubs.
Liz M. (Fair Haven, NJ)
I very much enjoyed Turn of Mind. I found the portrayal of dementia to be very true to life. I found Turn of Mind to be quite a good mystery as well as an interesting study in how secrets and envy keep us together while tearing us down. I recommend Turn of Mind
Dorothy Sheehan, (Hendersonville, NC)
Turn of Mind by Alice Laplante
Laplante's first novel is a brilliant portrayal of a powerful women's journey to oblivion. Loss of control in itself is horrifying. Losing control of your mind is the ultimate nightmare. Through Dr. Jennifer White's often disjointed and poignant journal we travel this journey with her to discover what is true in her world turned topsy-turvy where even memories are suspect.
Debbie M. (grand junction, CO)
Turn of Mind
The characterization is powerful, the writing superb and understated, the narrative haunting. It ranks near the top of my list of most unforgettable books.
Turn of Mind is an amazing book. Jennifer White is a doctor who's best friend is dead and Dr. White is the prime suspect. Dr. White has alzheimers and so doesn't know if she killed her friend. Alice LaPlant goes into the mind of someone with alzheimers and shows us the confusion and sadness that goes along with the disease. LaPlant is an excellent author and gives you great insight into the mind of an alzheimers sufferer.
JD l(ibrarian, NY)
Murder and the Mind
Dr. Jennifer's White's best friend has been murdered and she finds herself a suspect. But there is a further complication - Jennifer is suffering from advanced Alzheimer's dementia and half the time can't remember that Amanda is dead, never mind if she was involved in her murder. Told completely from the point of view of Jennifer's deteriorating mind, you suffer with her as she slips further away from herself and those she loves. Your view of reality is hers - fractured, unsure and changeable as she has good days and bad days.
While the murder and its solution is interesting in itself, it is only one aspect of the novel. It is also a fascinating look into the mind being lost to a horrible disease and a study of relationships - what binds people together and tears them apart.