The Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group is reading Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante for its September selection. Alice LaPlante is an award-winning writer of both fiction and nonfiction. She teaches creative writing at Stanford University. Her debut novel Turn of Mind became a New York Times, NPR, and American Independent Booksellers Association bestseller within a month of release.
Dr. Jennifer White is sixty-four-years-old, suffering from Alzheimer's and a person of interest in the death of her best friend, Amanda. Her days are filled with a reality that blurs and fades and sometimes is intensely real. The police suspect Dr. White is involved in Amanda's murder. She's an orthopedic surgeon and four of Amanda's fingers have been removed with surgical precision. But is someone with advanced dementia capable of committing a skillful murder without being detected?
The story is told through Dr. White's eyes. It's eerie to be inside the head of someone whose reality changes from day to day. We meet her children, her caregiver, and through the visions she experiences, her husband, parents and Amanda herself. As the disease progresses, we are drawn more and more into the complex, disturbing world inhabited by Dr. White.
Did you find Alice LaPlante's protrayal of the mind of a woman with Alzheimer's disease credible? Why? Did this book give you a greater understanding of Alzheimer's disease?
How would you describe the character of Jennifer White? How does she change--and how does she remain the same--as her Alzheimer's disease gets worse?
What did you think of Dr. White's husband James? How did your impression of James change as the story progressed?
Dr. White says she was "a reluctant mother." Did her children care about her?
What was your impression of Amanda O'Toole? As the story progressed what did you learn about her? Why do you think that Amanda and Dr. White had such a close relationship?
Let us know what you think of this haunting novel.
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Welcome to the internet home of the Kilbourn Public Library (KPL) Book Club. The KPL Book Club meets at the library once a month. A book is chosen for each month and then members of the book club meet the last Monday and Wednesday of every month for lively discussion and treats. While we can’t offer you treats via the internet, this KPL Reads blog was designed for those of you who would like to participate in the book club but don’t have time to join us at meetings. Each month KPL staff will post discussion topics and questions to get you “talking”. Join in the discussion by adding a post to the blog. Click on the word comments below the post you want to "talk" about and write your comment. Be sure to check back often to see feedback and comments.