Book Review – Turn of Mind

Turn of MindTurn of Mind by Alice LaPlante

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Inside the rich landscape of the mind, there are beautiful and terrible things. Especially so when that mind, once the highly honed tool of a skilled physician, is now riddled with the holes and dark spots of Alzheimer’s.

Turn of Mind takes you inside the head of Dr. Jennifer White, once a proud orthopaedic surgeon and mother of two, wife of a prominent defense attorney. Sometimes she is in the now. Sometimes she is among the vestiges of a happy childhood. Sometimes she is lost in days gone by of her marriage. But there is something very important that she is being pressed to remember by some, forget by others; the murder of her best friend.

Seeing through Jennifer’s eyes is scary, at least for me. Dementia has touched my family among my grandparent’s generation and none of us came out completely unscathed. One of my greatest fears is to lose myself in such a way. Still, it seems to have it’s comforts at times, when she spends time with her parents, for example, seeing them as though they were still there.

The crux of this story is the question of how far a mother will go to protect her family, and what secrets she can still manage to lock inside of herself even when struggling with a disease of the mind. It is both heartfelt and touching, as well as scary and profoundly interesting.

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