Thursday, July 14, 2011

Turn of Mind: Book Review

Turn of Mind
Alice La Plante
Copy as ebook
by Netgalley
 Lately, many authors are writing novels about memory loss and Alzheimer's Disease. It could be that the baby boomers are getting to middle age. This was a interesting read. 

  Turn of Mind is the story, about Jennifer, 64 year old widow, with Alzheimer's Disease. She has a daughter Fiona, and a son Mark. She has a caretaker 24/7, Magdelena staying at her home. Her friend Amanda, her neighbor is killed with 4 fingers severed off her hand.

  Most of the time, Jennifer has a notebook that she carries around with her everywhere. But, it is unrealiable.

Police think Jennifer was responsible. But the problem is Jennifer's memory is detoriating. It is very interesting how the author plays with the confusion. There are several times myself I was confused and had to flip back the pages to understand what was going on. I think the author's technique of writing was very unique.

Out of the blue, Jennifer loses time. You are reading something, then all of sudden she is in the middle of the street with oncoming traffic. How did she get there? There are many times that the author had Jennifer come in the middle of a situation. Try and think of yourself, sometimes when you drift off and find yourself drifting back.  How do you feel? A bit disoriented until you get your bearing.

Another time, when Jennifer left the facility, she befriends a couple of homeless men. They realize her facilities are not all there. But, they think they can con her.

After this incidence she takes a cab with not any money and she doesn't have shoes on. She arrives at her clinic ready to work. But she doesn't have her license any longer. Her fellow physicians recognize her. One of her fellow physicians says, I thought you retired. Then they all kept working. No one called to report something was amiss. I just think this did not fit the story.

There is a twist at the end of the story, I am not going to tell you.

The story is written in four parts. The first part when she is being cared by a care taker. The second part is when she taken to a nursing home. The third part when she escapes the nursing home wandering. The fourth part when she is taken back and the mystery is solved.

The novel is more about the illness, than the mystery of her friend Amanda. I enjoyed reading the story. Going into Jennifer's head, going from sanity to  confusion to senility to confusion.

 Going back in time when she was a little girl. At one point she thought her mother and sister were still alive. That I am sure can be frustrating to convince someone that they are living in the past.

  But, like all other books dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, it is difficult to read, because of the subject matter.  Visit NYTimes website for a nice review of Turn of Mind.

 After you read this one, you may want to read  another novel, that is very good it is written like a memoir, about Alzheimer's you should check out Lisa Genova's Still Alice. Very hard to read but is excellent.


bermudaonion said...

That does seem like a hot topic right now, but I'm glad to see it getting some attention. I'll have to look for this book.

caite said...

I liked this book a was sad, watching as she got more and more confused..but I like how it combined an interesting mystery along with it.
And some interesting thoughts on friendship...

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