Audiobook Review of Turn of Mind

Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
Published on7/05/2011
Hours: 9 hours and 45 minutes

New York Times bestseller, Turn of Mind is a literary thriller about a retired orthopedic surgeon suffering from dementia and accused of killing her best friend. With unmatched patience and a pulsating intensity, Alice LaPlante's debut novel brings us deep into a brilliant woman's deteriorating mind, where the impossibility of recognizing reality can be both a blessing and a curse.
When the book opens, Dr. Jennifer White's best friend, Amanda, has been killed, and four fingers surgically removed from her hand. Dr. White is the prime suspect and she herself doesn't know whether she did it. Told in White's own voice, fractured and eloquent, a picture emerges of the surprisingly intimate, complex alliance between these life-long friends--two proud, forceful women who were at times each other's most formidable adversaries. As the investigation into the murder deepens and White's relationships with her live-in caretaker and two grown children intensify, a chilling question lingers: is White's shattered memory preventing her from revealing the truth or helping her hide it?
A startling portrait of a disintegrating mind clinging to reality through anger, frustration, shame, and unspeakable loss, Turn of Mind examines the deception and frailty of memory and how it defines our very existence.

I love audio books. In the author's notes on the audio version of Joe Hill's NOS4A2, he talks about how the first stories we learn are read to us. I listen to audio books when I'm in the car, shopping, exercising (what? It happens!), cooking and playing semi-mindless games on my phone.

In typical book blogger fashion, I already have a tbr shelf just for audio books. Reviewing them is a bit more difficult, because I don't take notes and I don't always know how to spell the characters names. So these reviews will be a little different from my book reviews.

Midnight Thoughts

This audiobook has been on my Audio TBR shelf since October of 2014, and I'm so glad I finally made time for it! 

Listening to thrillers always works better for me, because it prevents me from peeking at the ending... which allows me to make wild guesses as to whodunit... and I was wrong about this one.  Which, naturally makes me happy. 

Told from the point of view of a woman, Jennifer, nearing the late stages of Alzheimer's, makes for a very unreliable narrator, as she flits back and forth from memories, to hallucinations, to being totally aware (or aware-ish) of what is happening to her.  I feel like LaPlante really captured the day to day, moment by moment, shifts of a person with cognitive impairment.  As someone who has worked over 10 years with clients with dementia, most of what Jennifer goes through seems terrifyingly legit. 

Narrator Thoughts

Jean Reed Bahle narrates, and this is my first experience with her.  I think she nailed Jennifer's voice and personality.  I would totally believe that Jean Reed Bahle had been a brilliant former doctor, that she was a woman of financial means, and that she was suffering from dementia- that's how perfect her narration was!

Midnight Rating