Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Review - Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante

Book Summary from Amazon

As the book opens, Dr. Jennifer White’s best friend, Amanda, who lived down the block, has been killed, and four fingers surgically removed from her hand. Dr. White is the prime suspect and she herself doesn’t know whether she did it. Told in White’s own voice, fractured and eloquent, a picture emerges of the surprisingly intimate, complex alliance between these life-long friends—two proud, forceful women who were at times each other’s most formidable adversaries. As the investigation into the murder deepens and White’s relationships with her live-in caretaker and two grown children intensify, a chilling question lingers: is White’s shattered memory preventing her from revealing the truth or helping her to hide it?

Publication Date - July 5, 2011

My Review - 4 stars

It was suggested to me by Christa to read a summary of the book to see if I would enjoy the style of writing, I think this is the perfect idea to consider.  Christa's review at Mental Foodie: A book and food lover blog.

The whole book is told from Dr. White's perspective, who has different stages of dementia and from journal entries from the other characters.  They are simple paragraphs and having her as the unreliable narrator adds to the mystery.  At times it doesn't make sense initially but also ties in together at the end.  My favourite times is when she goes back to being an active physician, she was obviously respected in her work and the murder was a direct tie in with her profession also.

My dad has dementia and so reading this felt personal to me.  I have read enough books to know this novel was genuine on what goes through the heads of victims to this harsh illness.  Many times not making sense to the reader or Dr. White.

If you read mysteries you may not be surprised by the ending but I thought it was executed well in this style.

The relationship of Dr. White with her son, daughter and best friend was memorable.  Mixed emotions with  family drama, grief, loss, anger, humor and trust all surrounding her being the person of interest with the murder of her best friend.  She is the one who can answer the questions unanswered but she doesn't remember, glimpse are clear but did it really happen.....

This was a great novel with a unreliable character with dementia. 

I think Still Alice by Lisa Genova is the best novel for those interested in reading a book on Dementia/Alzheimers.

Favourite quotes

I've read enough about this disease to know that you can't predict the future by the past.  It's like they say about parenting:  Just when you think you've mastered it, everything changes. 22 % on Kindle

My plots are simple:  Walk to the door.  Wait until no one is looking.  Open the door.  Leave.  Go home. Bar the front entrance against all comers.  62% on Kindle

I added to my TBR list after reading the review of Tina says..... go here.



  1. I don't have to be surprised by a mystery to enjoy it - sometimes it's about the journey. This sounds very good.

  2. I've been wanting to read this one for awhile sounds good! And I love unreliable characters! There is something about them that just adds even more mystery to the story for me. Great review...I'm definitely going to have to grab this one at the library :)

  3. I've had this on my TBR for a long time, it sounds really intriguing. I loved Still Alice and I'm thinking this one would be a win for me as well.


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