Carol's Reviews > Turn of Mind

Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
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's review
Aug 17, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: first-reads, 2011
Read from August 27 to September 02, 2011

I loved this book. If you look at the cover, the head is obscured by what seems to be a fog and the fog is pearl like in tones. That is the perfect cover for this book.

Dr. Jennifer White, an orthopedic surgeon is experiencing early dementia. She “retired” early from her work and hired a caretaker, Magdalena to live with her and take care of her daily needs. Her husband, James, has already passed away and left her with her two adult children, Mark, age 29 and Fiona, age 24. The pearl like drape envelopes her head on the cover of the book just like dementia covers her memories of people’s faces, names, past events and only allows few sparkles to come through like the medical terms that she learned so well. This is so scary and she feels useless in getting back what she lost.

Jennifer keeps a journal to try to help her remember things that she forgets. The book starts off with pages from her journal and with spaces behind the entries like her mind’s search for memories that are no longer there. Through her journal we learn about her past with her parents, her husband and different relationships with her son and daughter.

Her 75 old girl friend, Amanda has been found murdered. Her friend lived fairly close to her and some clues appear later in the book that disturb. Jennifer can’t remember that it has happened so she is reminded over and over again by different people.

Jennifer’s relationship with Amanda is more like a sister to sister relationship with constant arguing included than a close friendship. It is a relationship that can sooth and destroy at the same time. Jennifer’s husband, Amanda’s husband and the children are all tied up in this mystery of who killed Amanda. But this book is not only a mystery; it is a telling of the destruction of the brain through the time with dementia.

When I first read about this story, I thought it would be extremely difficult to write but Alice LaPlante has succeeded extremely well. I could barely stop reading this book, being so engrossed by her imitation of growth of dementia and later the mystery. She presents well developed characters and puts in twists that I had no way of expecting. This story shimmers and is luminescent with all the fractured perceptions of dementia. It is a pearl of a book.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested dementia, Alzheimer’s and mysteries.

I received this book from GoodReads but that in no way influenced my review.

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08/29/2011 page 42
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