Turn of Mind

Turn of Mind

Book - 2011
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Implicated in the murder of her best friend, Jennifer White, a brilliant retired surgeon with dementia, struggles with fractured memories of their complex relationship and wonders if she actually committed the crime.
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, c2011
ISBN: 9780802119773
Branch Call Number: FICTION LAPLANTE 2011
Characteristics: 307 p. ; 24 cm


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Oct 02, 2018

When you learn what this book is "about" you might be inclined to skip it. I was. My mother died a long, lingering death from dementia; I feared too much of the story would make me think of my mother. Wrong. This is unique. The ways in which the disease affects Jennifer White are as unexpected as they are completely believable. In addition, because it's the story of most of her life, the life stories of her husband, son, daughter, best friend, and best friend's husband are also written in some detail There are also incidental characters who may not spend much time in the story, but who are indispensable to the plot. For example,there is a scene in an Italian restaurant towards the end of the book that I just had to re-read several times before continuing with the rest of the book. It still gives me pause when I think of how she manages to be served a huge meal with all the extras though she cannot pay for it. She's not dishonest, there is no malice aforethought. She just makes a lot of assumptions about what's going on, and acts accordingly, and everyone else makes different assumptions, and THEY act accordingly too, and the result is both unbelievable and completely credible. This is one of those novels that will remain in my thoughts for years.

Mar 10, 2018

This book shows the demise of a brillant surgeon with dementia. She has fractured memories and doesn't quite understand what is happening to her. Good information on loss of memory and problems of dementia at an early age.

ArapahoeAnnaL Feb 04, 2018

Beautifully written and plotted, a psychological murder mystery/thriller told by a retired surgeon suffering from dementia. I loved this book!

LPL_MeredithW Jan 14, 2017

This novel from the point of view of a former surgeon with Alzheimer's who may have murdered her best friend has been on my to-read list for years, and WOW it didn't disappoint. Less a straightforward mystery than a mystery/family drama/thriller, "Turn of Mind" is a great read.

Sep 05, 2016

I did not finish this book. The author's attempt to portray the thought processes of someone suffering from progressive dementia results in dull, choppy sentences and an attempt at stream of consciousness that seems artificial and prosaic. For something much better that deals with similar subject matter, I recommend "The Poisonwood Bible."

athompson10 Jun 10, 2015

Well-told story about a retired surgeon descending into Alzheimer's who might have murdered her friend. Told from her perspective, as memories disappear and time shifts, the narrative point of view is more interesting than the actual mystery (which, if you're a whodunit fan, isn't hard to figure out).

Dec 18, 2012

Incredible mystery told from the point of view of a woman in the throes of dementia. Former orthopedic surgeon Jennifer White?s neighbor and long-time friend has been murdered and she is a suspect. The narrative alternates between Dr. White?s moments of lucidity and episodes of complete disconnect where she may believe she is 18 years old again or that her dead mother is beside her. In an especially surreal scene she escapes her care facility and goes to a free clinic and begins to treat patients. We learn about her past in snips all the while trying to follow what?s going on in her present. Surprisingly it works very well. Engrossing novel that keeps you thinking, what if it were me?

Sep 07, 2012

As you can see from the summaries this is a very unusual premise for a mystery. I was not sure I wouldt like this book when I first picked it up but boy was I wrong. I found the story compelling.
"Who are these strangers in my house?"
You will just have to read the book to find out.

Jul 11, 2012

insightful take on a mind stuggling with dementia. a little predictable, but still a compelling read. LaPlante takes you on a convincing journey through Dr. Whites mind.

eatlizzardsdaily Jun 20, 2012

I read about Turn of Mind on The Book Lady's Blog, which is a wonderful blog, and was immediately intrigued. I became even more interested when I found that she would be speaking and reading at The King's English Bookshop in Sugarhouse on August 24.

My last journey to the King's English brought me to meet Christopher McDougall the author of "Born to Run." He was so incredibly nice and down to earth and I immediately wanted to hear and meet more authors.

Turn of Mind is about Jennifer White, an orthopedic surgeon in her late 60's who has had to retire due to Alzheimer's. When her best friend and arch nemesis, turns up dead with 4 fingers surgerically removed, the mystery ensues.

While this book was definitely thought provoking, and a little depressing at times, I didn't finish reading it with a sense of foreboding or overwhelming sadness. I loved that it took me right into Jennifer's mind, and I realized that if I was confused at what was going on, then so was Jennifer. This book made me want to take extreme measures (like dance with a black cat under a full moon, or sacrifice a hampster) to make sure that I nor anyone I love ever contract Alzheimer's. What an awful disease, but what an amazing book to come from such decayed mental ashes.

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