Twice a year the library staff display their current book favorites for you to read and enjoy. Rate the books you read from the display by submitting a ballot at your branch in order to enter a drawing for a $25 gift card. Check out what the library staff considers current "good reads" and give us your feedback on our choices by voting at a branch and posting a comment.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

TURN OF MIND by Alice LaPlante


Espana said...

Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante is a haunting and tragic tale of murder and one women's mental descent due to Alzheimers. Most of the story is written in the first person and we are allowed to witness, if not participate, in the often chaotic thoughts and actions of Jennifer White MD. Jennifer is in her early 60s, a retired orthopedic surgeon (specialty is hand surgery), widow, mother of two children, and a collector of religious art. Her son, an attorney, has been given medical power of attorney over her care and her daughter, an economist, is given financial power of attorney. Other characters that are woven into the story include Magdelena, Jennifer's full-time, live-in caregiver, and Amanda O'Toole a former teacher, Fiona's godmother, reputedly Jennifer's best friend, and the murder victim.

Janett said...

I felt this was an extremely well written book. As you first start reading, it is jumpy and hard to follow but the story line quickly grabs you. I read this in two days. In the end, I really didn't like the main characters- the person Jennifer White was before dementia took over was not a person I would want to be friends with. Her supposed best friend Amanda is self-righteous to the EXTREME! Their friendship almost seemed based on cruelty and hurting one another. When Jennifer is put in an assisted living home she feels she is in prison, which I can imagine, but she feels she is in a prison to pay for her crimes. Jennifer is a success professionally but I would argue a failure in the rest of her life. She did not come across as a nurturing mother to her children. She seemed to desire wealth more than honesty and integrity. She was willing to give (money, time, gifts) but not sacrifice. With her dementia increasingly making it difficult to recognize people, places, and even the door to her room, she finds solace in remembering complicated hand surgeries. The way the scalpel felt in her hands and the power she felt as a surgeon. This becomes her solace and escape.