Author : Alice LaPlante ISBN : 0802145906 Publisher : Grove Press

Chicago: 64 year old Dr. Jennifer White is a retired orthopedic surgeon. Amanda, her best friend who lives down the block, is found gruesomely murdered in her apartment. A tortuous peculiarity of the crime scene zooms in on the victim's hand, which indicates four surgically removed fingers. Investigation points towards Dr. White as she is specialized in hand surgery. Further investigation reveals that the two were heard arguing uncontrollably, on the night of the incident. Needless to guess, Dr. White becomes the prime suspect here, but she herself is uncertain whether she killed her old friend; plus, she is diagnosed of dementia, which acts as the only constraint in the solving of this case.

Soon, the mercury starts moving against gravity with greater velocity, as the investigation opens doors to new channels, deeply analyzing the surgeon's relationship with her live-in caregiver and two grown children. In the meanwhile, light falls upon Dr. White's intimate and in a way complex relationship with her friend Amanda. And the question prevails throughout the rest of the book, the question as to whether her kaput memory is helping her hide the secrets or is it really preventing her from revealing the truth that craves for liberation from the supposed labyrinth. Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante is a literary thriller, an observational tour through the psychological tremors caused by a deteriorating mind.

Alice presents a stunning portrait of a volatile mind, that is unaware of its ambidextrous nature and falls for its own lies. The narration contributes to this enigmatic piece of art, as she frames the complexity of the story in a somewhat fractured manner, ensuring an experience as crude as it can get. The character of Dr. Jennifer White stands as the epitome of a multi-dimensional vision of an artist, as it acts as the source of eclipse within the mind's mirrors. Dialogues are bound to trigger cogitation and psychoanalysis. Alice sustains the complexity throughout the book, and all the disintegrating fragments, the schism that once seemed to be dissolves unto reality, as the truth dawns upon the barren terrain, marking the completion of a cycle that once did not seem to exist.

This book puts forth the idea that memory malfunction might indeed act the benevolent as we witness the complexity of the incident losing its weight, eventually. Where memories are considered as polished rubies, here's a fiction that instigates the reader to question his balance; a miscast amidst a chaotic congregation of conflicting memories is most likely to become unstable and get lost in the labyrinth, but the very mind will constantly work towards eliminating the thick fog that stands between itself and reality. However, there are times when the mind is completely ignorant of its own deceit. And at times, one's own weaknesses can become his savior in a stinging situation. Turn of Mind is a spectator's sharing of such a mis-phenomenon, an experience that seems more than just a fading unreality.

Nhut Pham

Nhut Pham

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