Michelle's Reviews > Turn of Mind

Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
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's review
Dec 15, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: powell-s-indiespensables
Read in November, 2011

I was really surprised how much I wasn't blown away by this book. I thought I would be! It's a Powell's choice! It has an interesting premise (a woman with Alzheimer's is the main suspect in the murder of her best friend). The writing was interesting--consisting of some notes from the main character Jennifer's caretaker, children, and the murdered friend Amanda, but mainly from Jennifer's POV, skipping around in time, but also skipping around from good memory day to hardly memory at all. It sounds good, right?

The ending was kind of a letdown. **spoilers ahead!** I didn't get enough of these friends' relationship, so when you find out that Amanda knew about Jennifer's husband stealing money, meh, I didn't care that much? And when you find out that Amanda was hassling Jennifer about the money I still didn't care much. And I started to feel like Amanda was a jerk. Because Jennifer's husband is dead and Jennifer has Alzheimer's. I mean, seriously, what do you expect her to do, Amanda? Anyway, Jennifer's daughter Fiona goes to chat with Amanda to tell her to back off and Amanda gets all preachy with her too. So now I'm like, Bitch, get over it. Fiona feels like that too because she shoves her, knocking her down and killing her. Okay, that isn't good. So now I feel like, okay, let's punish Fiona somewhat. I mean, she did kill somebody, even if she was annoying. But the detective, having now discovered the truth, decides, eh, nothing's fixing Amanda's dead situation and all, so let's just drop the case. Um, she was kind of all over Jennifer when she suspected her, but now that she knows it's Fiona's fault, we drop the case? I know she's sweet to her mom and all, but um...that's wrong. Hello? Can we see this is wrong?

I'm so confused. What is this book? There's not enough conflict and character- and relationship-building to be a dramatic novel. The conflict that is thrown in there (the money) felt half-assed. The whodunit element felt like, um, I don't care because nothing was properly built up enough. And now I hate Amanda, Fiona, and that detective. I don't like walking away from a book hating nearly everybody. Including Powell's. Bleh.
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08/12 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez Absolutely right!

message 2: by Bas (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bas Thank you! You put into words exactly what I was feeling. I loved reading Still Alice, and I guess I was hoping this book would be similar. Sadly, it wasn't...

Alanna You make some very good points, but I think you misunderstood one of the central plot points: the detective does NOT figure out that Fiona killed Amanda. She only believes that Fiona covered for her mother by cleaning up the mess. She still thinks that Jennifer did it, which is why she doesn't take legal action against Fiona. This is also why Fiona feels so terrible at the end that her mother is in a pretty awful care facility rather than the nicer one she could easily afford...

Michelle Alanna wrote: "You make some very good points, but I think you misunderstood one of the central plot points: the detective does NOT figure out that Fiona killed Amanda. She only believes that Fiona covered for h..."

Hi Alanna,
Thanks for your thoughts. I keep meaning to grab my copy of the book to find out just where I went wrong in my thinking, but it's waaaay up high on the bookcase, so I will chalk this up to: I disliked the book so much I just stopped paying attention. Maybe I really should have reread this one when my book club had a crack at it. Shrug. Glad you liked it, though. Different strokes, right?

Alanna Glad we can still be friends! :)

message 6: by Bas (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bas I just didn't care for the book. I had such high hopes going into it...I guess I was looking for another "Still Alice" kind of feeling. But this one didn't do it for me. I didn't care for the writing style, the characters, the plot...it just never came together for me.

Michelle Ooooh, I'm so glad I read this before Still Alice because if I was expected Still Alice while reading this...I would have been bitterly disappointed (more so than I was).

Melissa I agree with you completely!

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