Susan's Reviews > Turn of Mind

Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
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's review
Feb 20, 2012

really liked it

I give this four stars because it was the quickest read, in some way the most compelling, I've read in a long time. Jennifer White is a 64-year-old orthopedic surgeon specializing in hands but she has retired due to the progression of Alzheimer's. As the novel opens she is a person of interest in the murder of her long-time best friend, Amanda, from whose body four fingers have been surgically removed. But Jennifer has no record, either mental or in her journal, of the relevant days. She has a live-in attendant, Magdalena, and a grown son and daughter, Mark and Fiona, who visit frequently and whose own stories begin to be revealed.

The story is told primarily from Jennifer's consciousness. Suspension of disbelief is rewarded by a highly entertaining voice.

For me, though, the novel was not ultimately satisfying. I tend to feel this way about mysteries generally--I think it's because I have too much of a sense of the machinery being hauled into place at the end to create the resolution, and all other avenues of interest get cut off. Or, that is to say, all other character inquiries the novel makes become suddenly irrelevant. That felt very stark in this one.

Still, definitely worth it if you want something very fast. It was so fast it was like watching television.
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message 1: by Diana (new)

Diana Anhalt Am making a list of the last three books you recommended. Just finished a book you'd recommended some time ago and loved it, The Tiger's Wife. Will keep following your reviews.
Love, Diana Anhalt

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