Judith's Reviews > The Leftovers

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
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's review
Sep 29, 2011

really liked it

Once I was doing an early morning commute on an L.A. freeway. The car in front of me had a bumper sticker that read: " Warning: If the rapture comes, this car will be unmanned." I thought to myself: 1. if the rapture comes, and I am driving on the freeway, I will have bigger problems to worry about than an unmanned car and 2. what kind of "Christian" is bragging about swooshing off to heaven and causing death and destruction in the process? This traffic issue doesn't appear in "The Leftovers", but it is an interesting story told from the perspective of the survivors.

Three years after "the rapture", the residents of the small town of Mapleton (anywhere USA) are still struggling to understand what happened. Some battle with grief over the loss of their loved ones and some try to understand why they were left behind. In this scenario, about a third of the population worldwide disappeared the same instant, just as some have predicted would happen. However, the catch is that the good, the bad, and the ugly were taken seemingly indiscriminately and this has caused a lot of confusion among the leftovers. Believers and nonbelievers were taken in equal measure, and how do you deal with that if you're the minister of a church in Mapleton?

The story mostly focused on a couple of families and the reader gets an up close view at the thought processes of a teenage girl, her college-student brother, her father, the town mayor, and her mother. The mother joins one cult and the brother joins another, leaving the girl and her father to try to reclaim normalcy in their lives in the face of this huge happening. This is a fast-paced good read.
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