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2.8 out of 5 stars
2.8 out of 5 stars
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on September 2, 2011
Jennifer is a 65 year old surgeon, specializing in operations repairing tendons, muscles etc of the hand. As we get to know her, she is in the last stages of dementia and on her way to Alzheimer's. The story is told from Jennifer's point of view, and from entries in her journal (or log book) from her daughter, son and her caregiver. There are also flash backs from her past life (pre-dementia). Added on to this deeply woven story is the death (murder?) of Jennifer's best friend, Amanda. The police are sure Jennifer killed Amanda, and they are determined to place the blame on a woman who can't remember her own name some days.
I found this book hard to read because is it so sad, but hard to put down because I had to know what came next. There is the history of Jennifer's life, the difficult relationship with her son, the loss of her husband and Amanda. Then there is the life she is living now: one day she knows her husband has passed and she is crystal clear - the next day she has to suffer the loss of people she loves (loved) again and agin. She knows she on her way to the corner store to get groceries, but is shocked to find people freaking out that she has no coat or shoes in the dead of winter and is wandering around around. Then there is the mystery of Amanda.... Did Jennifer kill her, if not who did? The lead police officer is determined to find the truth and she has her own back story. The ending is great.. can't tell you about it - ya just gotta read for yourself!
I loved this book. So intricate and well woven, I couldn't wait to find out what came next for Jennifer. I found it to be a scary reality as well, there is a chance that any of us may end up like Jennifer, so be kind to those we love who may be onthe way out. Good job Alice LaPlante!!!
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on June 7, 2013
I definitely enjoyed this book. The style of writing and even the formatting draws you in. I had read 50 pages without even realizing it. The story is told from Jennifer's point of view, and some people may find it difficult to adjust to it... Since Jennifer has dementia, information can be choppy - coming to you in the view of how she is doing that day. If she doesn't remember something that happened - that information will not be provided. It's a different perspective, and really draws you into the character, by forcing you to piece things together the same way she would, learning as you go. The second chapter drags a little and it becomes more focused on the disease that the murder or even the family, but it is still interesting. Jennifer's family history sounds a little dark, but she is very endearing. Your impressions of people will change as the story goes on. There's a twist! And it didn't come in the form I thought it would.
I'd recommend this to everyone.
And if you've read this and enjoyed it I'd highly suggested "Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson" or "Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn"
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on January 27, 2012
I selected this book from an Oprah Magazine list of thrillers.
This book is so NOT a thriller, or even a good story.
It is more a study of dementia. It is painfully boring, and I did not even finish it, which for me is rare.
Definitely feel cheated for the money that I spent on this one.
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This book has been on my tbr since it first came out. I'm glad to have have finally read it. I did enjoy the book. I have some personal experience with dementia and currently am watching two friends going through it with loved ones. The book is extremely readable and a quick read in that it has no chapters but is written in very short paragraphs which are journal entries, thoughts from the patient's mind and dialogues. There are no quotation marks though, so sometimes it can be confusing as to which method is being used though the use of italics at times does help. This is an extremely intriguing way to get inside someone's head and I find these types of literary devices very rewarding. Personally I find the most satisfaction from characterization within a book and can happily read a book where nothing happens as long as it is filled with interesting people and here in Turn of Mind, not a lot really does happen. There is the plot, the murder, the Alzheimer's patient (Dr. White) is the main suspect and from beginning to end we find out 'whodunit', but as a mystery/thriller reader I found that part of the plot dull. What I did enjoy and find fascinating was seeing where Dr. White's mind went, what triggered certain remembrances, sudden outbursts, just how much she was aware what was happening to her and at other times how utterly terrified and helpless she was. Even though I would call this a slow story, it was a quick read and kept me steadily attached to its pages, having a hard time thinking of little else. If you don't mind a meandering story with a unique variety of narrative devices, for those with any interest in dementia this proves to be a thought-provoking read.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 5, 2014
I have to admit - I wanted this to be another "Still Alice" - and it totally is not. It's narrated by Jennifer White, a former Doctor who suffers from Alzheimer’s. We follow her thoughts - lucid and otherwise - as she learns that her neighbour and friend has been killed; with her as the main suspect. I have to admit that the murder storyline does take a back seat since Jennifer doesn't think about it often, and isn't always aware of what has happened. I do have to applaud Alice LaPlante for writing an Alzheimer victim so well - many of the conversations reminded me of conversations with my grandfather who also suffered from the disease. The twist at the end caught me by surprise – so although I thought it dragged a little, I did like it.
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on February 7, 2012
I really REALLY wanted to love this novel - read all the hype and unfortunately - bought into it. I even kept it for ages before reading - so I would have a GREAT novel to read in my leisure time - what a mistake! I have never been so freakin' bored out of my ever lovin mind - the first chapter was ok - the rest was a snorefest. The premise behind this was a MURDER - and I got short paragraphs of demetia getting worse and worse. I wanted more of the murder "mystery" and every chapter - it just got more and more slow and tedious - I hate to admit it - but I skipped thru the entire last 3/4 of the book. Arghhhhhhh. It was painful and - a complete waste of my hard earned cash to buy this book.
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