Grace Abbs, January 4, 2012 (view all comments by Grace Abbs)
This book was not only a mystery but a fascinating look inside the mind of one who has an executive function disorder. The writing was superb and kept me engaged throughout.
SarahS, January 4, 2012 (view all comments by SarahS)
Is there any narrator less reliable than one who can't trust her own memory? Though Jennifer's descent into dementia is peaceful, she is prone to aggressive outbursts that she completely forgets. Did she murder her neighbor? Can she be held accountable for violent action she may have taken against someone she barely recognized? The trip through Jennifer's perception and memory is terrifying and fascinating to the very end.
addicted to indiespensible, January 4, 2012 (view all comments by addicted to indiespensible)
I picked this up expecting a general mystery read. This was anything but general. I found the mystery element layered on to the exploration of dimentia as told in the first person to be a completely compelling and thoroughly satisfying read. A uniqe mystery read to be sure. I hope to see more from this author.
Pedsgirl06, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by Pedsgirl06)
A murder mystery where even the main suspect doesn't know whether she is guilty, since she is mired in a brain that is falling prey to Alzheimer's. Very intriguing concept, and also very well written in my opinion. The author obviously has personal experience with someone suffering from Alzheimer's, as she really seems to get into the mind of the main character well. Loved this book, and have been recommending it to everyone for months!
Alice LaPlante's remarkable debut novel is a page-turning mystery written with spellbinding language. But even more than that, it's an incredibly intimate portrait of a deteriorating mind. Heartbreaking, intelligent, and lyrical, Turn of Mind introduces an impressive new talent.
Dr. Jennifer White is a retired hand surgeon, who, unfortunately, is moving toward late-stage dementia. When her best friend is murdered and found with fingers surgically removed from one hand, Dr. White is the prime suspect. Yet, how to build a case, much less convict, on the bewildering ramblings of an Alzheimer's patient? Told from Dr. White's perspective, Turn of Mind is a moody, gauzy, wispy story; the haze of lost memory is almost palpable. As Dr. White's dementia deepens and her thoughts becomes more jagged and disconnected, the story continues to build toward an explosive ending. Completely gripping, Alice LaPlante's great literary mystery will keep you guessing until the end.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"LaPlante's impressive first novel sensitively explores the mental disintegration of widowed 64-year-old Jennifer White, a once-lauded Chicago hand surgeon, who charts her own experiences with Alzheimer's both consciously, in notes she writes to herself and thoughts she shares, and unconsciously, as she records conversations and actions she witnesses but doesn't understand. When someone fatally bludgeons Jennifer's best friend, 75-year-old Amanda O'Toole, who lives just three doors away, suspicion falls on Jennifer because the killer surgically removed four fingers from Amanda's right hand. In a satisfying twist, Jennifer honestly doesn't know herself whether she committed the murder. Jennifer's 29-year-old lawyer son, Mark, wishes to have his mother declared mentally incompetent, while her 24-year-old daughter, Fiona, a sweet, loving flake, and her full-time caretaker, Magdalena, act out of less selfish motives. Mystery fans should be prepared for a subtle literary novel in which the unfolding of Jennifer's condition and of her past matters far more than the whodunit. 16-city author tour. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
by Lisa Genova, New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice,
"Turn of Mind is a uniquely entertaining murder mystery. Alice LaPlante's portrayal of the prime suspect's escalating dementia, told from her point of view, is gripping, unnerving, and utterly brilliant."
by Colin Harrison, author of Afterburn and Risk,
"Hey, readers, Alice LaPlante has arrived. Turn of Mind features a crazy-smart narrator in a gripping family drama that is itself a brilliant murder mystery. LaPlante possesses both the wild audacity to attempt such a tour-de-force and the pure talent to pull it off. Totally compelling, dark and yet at moments also darkly funny, completely unforgettable. Lord knows what LaPlante will write next. I can't wait."
by Kirkus Reviews(Starred Review),
"LaPlante's literary novel explores uncharted territory, imagining herself into a mind, one slipping, fading, spinning away from her protagonist....LaPlante tells the story poignantly, gracefully, and artistically. Jennifer White, as a physician, as a wife, as a mother, leaps from the pages as a powerful character....A haunting story masterfully told."
by Ann Packer, author of The Dive from Clausen's Pier,
"An electrifying book, impossible to put down. Gripping, thought-provoking, humane, funny, tragic, it is masterfully done, a tour de force that can't be a first novel — and yet it is. I'll read whatever LaPlante writes next, and the sooner the better."
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