Nancy's Reviews > The Leftovers

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
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's review
Feb 11, 2012

really liked it
Read in February, 2012

** spoiler alert ** This story follows the story of a family who is "left behind" when in October millions of people suddenly disappear. Not is is not exactly the rapture, because all sorts of people (not just Christians) disappear. The Garvey family — Kevin, Laurie and their two children, Tom and Jill — are the Mapleton residents at the center of Perrotta’s novel. Odd groups have started up in response to people suddenly losing one or more family members and in general feeling like --what the heck left could end tomorrow. Kevin becomes the mayor of the town and is trying to hold his family together -- well it's only Jill. Laurie has run off and joined the "Guilty Remnant" the GRs whose mission is to not allow people to go on with their lives but to remember the "Sudden Departure" The GR wear only white, smoke cigarette, and do not speak. They live together, eat little and show up en mass at events or follow individuals around town. Tom has left college and joined a group with a leader called Holy Wayne who says he can take people's pain away with a Hug (called the Healing Hug Movement), but it turns out that Wayne preys upon young teenage girls and proclaims that he can take multiple wives. Tom helps one of Wayne's teenage brides (Tom falls for her) and they travel as one of the Barefoot People (they paint bullseyes on their foreheads) and they are known to party all the time. But Tom and this gal, Christine, travel together when Wayne is arrested (and ultimately pleads guilty) because Christine is pregnant. So Tom takes her to the home of one of Holy Wayne's followers. Of course they get kicked out when Wayne pleads guilty. Christine gives up the baby to Tom and Tom leave the baby on his father Kevins doorstep. The baby is found by Nora, Kevin's girlfriend, who has lost her entire family (husband and 2 children) and found out that the husband was having an affair. Nora was on her way out of town, but was leaving a note for Kevin when she finds the baby on the doorstep and it ends with Kevin, Nora and the baby together. Kevin's daughter is living at home and trying to go to school, but her friend, a gorgeous wild child, keeps leading her astray and Kevin is attracted to her. I think her name was Kim. Kim ultimately moves out and Jill is tempted to join the Guilty Remnant, but at the end gets in a car with a friend. Good story -- liked it.

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