Thursday, September 1, 2011

Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante

Is Turn of Mind a murder mystery or a 1st person narrative of an orthopedic surgeon living with Alzheimer’s/Dementia? Alice LaPlante has combined the two for an extraordinary read inside the deteriorating mind of Dr. Jennifer White.

Dr. White is a 64 year old hand surgeon who becomes the prime suspect in her best friend, Amanda’s, murder. Reason being, four of her fingers are surgically removed from her hand.

Realizing this book is indeed a novel, I thought it was a fascinating way to enter the confused mind of a person suffering from this horrid disease. LaPlante’s use of a murder mystery for readers to experience this journey is genius.

Dr. White has two children, a son and a daughter, whose characters highlight the family dynamics brilliantly. It is another malfunctioning family, true, but LaPlante’s characterization of the family, friends, even the caretaker, make the difficult subject matter an outstanding read.

One who has a medical background may have some issues with facts, no doubt, but to the naked eye, Turn of Mind is a book of interest which leaves the reader feeling compassion for anyone suffering from Alzheimer’s/Dementia disease.

I recommend this book for mystery lovers as well as readers curious about Alzheimer’s or Dementia. My favorite books are written in first person, and I was not disappointed. For a first novel, you knocked it out of the park Alice LaPlante!


  1. My grandmother had alzheimers and this is a wonderful insite into the disease and how a persons mind works, what their perceptions are. It was educational and enlightening. I felt the pain and confusion on both sides. A great book, so insiteful.

  2. I'm sorry about your grandmother. I'm glad you liked the book. It sounds like it provided some needed comfort.