My latest review book from Amazon Vine arrived early last week; Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante, published by Harvill Secker.
Wow, what a fabulous read - not an easy read by any means though. It's a difficult subject to tackle in fiction but LaPlante has nailed it. It's due to be published on 7 July 2011 here in the UK and I really hope that it does very well.
I was left stunned by the power of this novel, and it's effect on me. I finished the novel during a longish car journey and spent the rest of the drive contemplating the story and the writing style.
This is not an easy read, the subject matter is very difficult and at times the writing style can be difficult to follow. Told in the first person by Dr Jennifer White in a mixture of ways - through diary journals, through flash-backs and dreams and through dialogue. Jennifer was a brilliant surgeon, her speciality was hand surgery, she still has a brilliant mind ...... sometimes. Jennifer has Alzheimers and is struggling, sometimes she wonders just who that blond woman in the kitchen is, sometimes she knows who her daughter is and always she forgets that her friend Amanda is dead.
It is Amanda's murder that is the central point of the story, the police suspect Jennifer. After all, Amanda's body was discovered with her fingers surgically removed from one hand - how many people in Amanda's life could do that.
Yes, there will be comparisons to Alice Genova's Still Alice, which I really enjoyed reading too, but I became so much more involved in the story and the cast of Turn of Mind.
A very clever debut novel - I'm sure that Alice LaPlante is going to go from strength to strength, I can hardly wait to see what she comes upwith after this