Elaine's Reviews > Turn of Mind

Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
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Dec 06, 11


All the reviews of this novel glowed. Customer reviews and Editorial ones. How interesting to attempt to portray the world through the mind of a brilliant woman with dementia. I am the caregiver of an Alzheimer's patient and I know how fragmented life can be for him, how his mind slips from one path to another, and then how sharp and lucid he can be. I could hardly wait to read this book.

Then, after about 50 pages, I could hardly wait for it to be done. Part of the problem was that nobody was likeable or even interesting. Maybe Amanda,the murdered woman might have been,although she is described as cruel. The story veers from a surprisingly lucid diary kept by Jennifer, the patient., to her ongoing thoughts, to the caregiver's view, even to a home movie.

The book trots out every cliche: infidelity in supposedly happily married couples, children greedy for Mom's money, uncertainty about that money, how it was gotten and how it' s being handled. There's also a ne'er do well son with a drug problem.

Somehow, Jennifer's dementia didn't seem real, although LaPlante has covered the deficits laid out in the medical literature.

Also, instead of quotation marks or overt mention of where the verbiage is originating, she uses italics and font changes to indicate whose words are whose.

Truthfully, as noted above, most people loved this. I didn't. I learned nothing from it and got no new insights into human possibilities.
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