Sunday, August 28, 2011
Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
Honestly I didn't know what to expect from this book. I figured I was either going to love it or hate it...one of those books. Well let me tell you I absolutely loved it!! I listened to this one on audiobook which made it even better in my opinion as the narrator did an absolutely amazing job. I heard about this book on the Diane Rehm show. Apparently, Ms. Laplante has lived with a mother with Alzheimers though she said in the interview that this book is no way based on her life with her mother. Laplante gives us an amazing, intriguing, engaging and heartbreaking story of an orthopedic doctor by the name of Jennifer White who is now suffering from dementia. She's had to retire from her practice and needs constant supervision at this point in her life. Her best friend of years is found dead and missing four fingers. Four fingers that have been skillfully surgically removed. Something that Dr. White would certainly be capable of and this makes her a prime suspect in the case. Though with her dementia, she has no recollection of whether or not she actually did it. The narrative is heart breaking. It's told from the point of view of Jennifer White through a mixture of journal entries, letters to her from her loved ones, her own "in the moment" thoughts and memories that pop into her head. Her memories are sometimes in fragments...sometimes in detailed, complete thoughts. It just depends on the day and the time. Jennifer is presented as a somewhat cold woman...at least in the audiobook...but at the same time, she's so very loveable. There were times where you just want to wrap her up in your arms. I've never experienced dementia or alzheimers first hand, though I see it at the hospital that I work at occasionally. It seems like an excruciating disease not just for the person living it, but for their loved ones around them as well. To see your loved ones go downhill with no way of stopping it has to be heartbreaking...to not remember your own son and daughter...all heartbreaking. But I feel like I have experienced it somewhat now after reading this book. I think Miss Laplante captured it perfectly. And it's one I'd highly recommend to anyone...specifically the audiobook..really enjoyed it!