Valley Cottage Library's Reviews > The Leftovers

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
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Jan 27, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: katie-pick

This book opens with the description of a Rapture-like event, where a percentage of the people on Earth simply vanish. There is no explanation of why or how this happened, it just did. Families become torn apart, cults form, and everyone is still dealing with the loss of their loved ones.

The primary focus of the story is the new mayor, Kevin, and his family. While no immediate family member has vanished during the "sudden departure," no one is coping well. His wife Laurie joins a cult called the "Guilty Remnant," where she dresses in white, spies on those outside the cult, smokes cigarettes to profess her faith, and takes a vow of silence. Kevin's son decides to follow a new charismatic spiritual leader who calls himself Holy Wayne, and his daughter remains at home, but begins to fail her classes.

This is really a more atmospheric novel than one with a plot. Not a lot happens. It's more about how each of these people cope in different ways, not really attempting to move the story forward. I found parts of it (especially the end, which I won't ruin)to be very abrupt.

Ultimately worth the read, but don't expect a fast-paced book that really resolves much of anything.
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