Dr. Jennifer White, brilliant and well-known orthopedic surgeon, is recently retired and widowed, but worst of all she is suffering from the beginning stages of dementia. Not only does this stalwart woman have a hard time holding on to reality as her mind gradually betrays her, but her long-time friend and neighbor has been murdered, four fingers surgically removed, and Jennifer is the prime suspect.
Most the time reading is about pleasure, about experiencing the joy and thrill of emotions written on the page. Other times, like in the case of Turn of Mind, it is about experiencing a deeply human horror and being better for it. Alice LaPlante’s expertly crafted narrative had me horrified and transfixed all at once. The degradation of the main character’s mind is a fascinating and poignant reminder that our brains are all-powerful, yet fragile instruments. The disease, one that unfortunately runs in my husband’s family, took on a very real life as I read. I will forever remember the feelings that Dr. White experiences. Not only is this story a stark look at a sad disease, but it is also a nail-biting mystery that keeps the reader guessing until the very end. Highly recommended.
Content note: brief sexual references, some language, and some violence.
Author Alice LaPlante will be at The King’s English Bookshop on Wednesday, August 24, 7 p.m. I can’t wait.