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Turn of Mind

by Alice LaPlante

Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante X
Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2011, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2012, 320 pages

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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.
The characterization is powerful, the writing superb and understated, the narrative haunting. It ranks near the top of my list of most unforgettable books.
Power Reviewer
Sandra H. (St. Cloud, Minnesota)

Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
Dr. Jennifer White, a 64-year-old orthopedic physician suffering from dementia is the prime suspect in the murder of her best friend, Amanda. Three of Amanda’s fingers have been surgically removed and Jennifer specialized in working with joints in the hands. Jennifer tries to make sense of what is happening but her dementia has progressed to the point that she cannot always identify faces , remember names or even care for her own basic daily functions. Jennifer’s companion keeps a notebook detailing daily activity, her children come to see her trying to find out what happened and the police keep taking her back for interrogation. Using short sentences and paragraphs, the author lets us experience Jennifer’s fragmented and disjointed thinking as she moves back and forth in her mind trying to remember her past and her friendship with the dead woman. This movement causes us to experience the painfully confusing life of a person losing her life to Alzheimers while giving the necessary clues (as well as some red herrings) to keep us wanting to learn what happened. Yet, this is so much more than a "who done it." At the end, I felt drained yet satisfied. This is a superbly written mystery.
Debra V. (Kenosha, WI)

Turn of Mind
Haunting story of a brilliant woman's descent into dementia. Turn of Mind is written in a way that takes you into Dr. Jennifer White's fragmented life and thoughts and allows you to feel the pain and confusion with her. The mystery of her best friend's death and her conflicted relationship with her children are filtered through her disease. The best novel I have read this year!
Rachel B. (Waynetown, IN)

Intriguing and unsettling picture of Altzheimers
The story was not spectacular, but I mean that in a good way. It was the story of a woman who had raised a family, pursued a successful career, and then (where we meet her) begins to lose herself and all the memories/feelings that she had cultivated. The murder isn't all that important in the end, except that for me it was a really dramatic picture of how dementia starts to eat away at your ability to be accountable for yourself. If you can't rely on your memory, where can you gain conviction or hold onto even a shred of confidence? A very compelling story, filled with people it felt like I knew. Like many other readers, I found the story reminded me very much of Still Alice. I would highly recommend this book to a book club.
Rosemary K. (Saginaw, MI)

The Fragility of Mind
Alice LaPlante's Turn of Mind is a brilliant novel. The story unveils the complex story of Dr. Jennifer White, a victim of Alzheimer's, who may have committed a murder.

The narrator is usually Dr. White, who relates situations as she views them--sometimes she is in the past (which seems like the present), and sometimes she is even practicing medicine, having slipped away from the institution where she has been committed. Other persons sometimes relay their thoughts.

LaPlante's skillful writing keeps the reader transfixed. This is a most remarkable book, and I have been recommending it to everyone.
Cheryl W. (Cassville, MO)

Turn of MInd
The adjectives on the back cover of the book describe it well, "extraordinary, haunting, startling, poignant, compelling". I read it in one sitting and was sorry to see it end. It is thought provoking, disturbing, and very sad. Even so I would recommend it to just about anyone. It made me think of dementia in a new way.
Bonnie B. (Fairbanks, AK)

A Mind Lost
'Turn of Mind' by LaPlante is a fascinating book. Dr. Jennifer White is suffering from early onset Alzheimer's disease and this book is told mainly from her perspective in the first person. She is deteriorating rapidly and is having trouble remembering anything recent or even recognizing her children. She was an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand surgery before she retired. Complicating matters is the fact that her best friend has been found murdered with four digits of her hand cut off. Jennifer is the prime suspect. The book is very well written and gets the reader deeply into the mind of a person with dementia. The book was so interesting that I had trouble putting it down. I highly recommend it.
Bethany T. (Annapolis, MD)

Turn of Mind Makes the Mind Turn!
Turn of Mind was by far the most intriguing fiction I've read in quite some time. The title is a fabulous choice for upcoming book discussions. Not only does it give the reader a first hand view of Alzheimers but it's complexities go far deeper delving into the true meaning of friendship, love, motherhood and betrayal. I was riveted to the very end. The characters are well drawn and the plot is fast-moving. It's a quick read while still full of meaty "food for thought". I highly recommend Turn of Mind.
Bethany, Mountain Road Library Associate, Pasadena, MD

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