Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
Source: ARC provided by the Amazon Vine program
Is the perfect murder the one you can't forget or the one you can't remember? Dr. Jennifer White, a brilliant former surgeon in the early grips of Alzheimer's, is suspected of murdering her best friend, Amanda. Amanda's body was found brutally disfigured - with four of her fingers cut off in a precise, surgical manner. As the police pursue their investigation and Jennifer searches her own mind for fractured clues to Amanda's death, a portrait emerges of a complex relationship between two uncompromising, unsentimental women, lifelong friends who were at times each other's most formidable adversaries. (Goodreads)
This was a fascinating book, in that it gives a glimpse into what it might be like to have dementia. Divided into four sections, there aren't really chapters but instead short snippets of Jennifer's life. She has her good days and bad, and we get some idea of what it must be like to be in her shoes. A strong, intelligent woman who isn't always sure what's going on. Has to be terrifying.
The main gist of the story is trying to discover who murdered Amanda, Jennifer's best friend. I was a little appalled at the police detective, who kept questioning Jennifer despite her condition. Seemed a little cruel at times, but there was a murder to solve. But still....the woman had dementia and had to relive the discovery that her friend was murdered over and over, as well as reliving the deaths of her parents and husband. Dementia is a cruel disease because so many memories, both the good and the bad, have to be freshly relived.
Didn't really care for Jennifer's son Mark, who took advantage of his mother's condition. Daughter Fiona was overwhelmed at times, but seemed to handle it better than Mark. Magdalena, her live-in caregiver, also seemed overwhelmed with caring for someone with dementia, as Jennifer tended to be difficult and liked to wander away.
As a former caregiver for someone with dementia, this insight into Jennifer's mind fascinated me. I know it's fiction, but Alice's descriptions really rang true!
Gave this one a 4/5 as Alice did such a great job with Jennifer! The murder mystery wasn't really the focus for me as I read, but was eventually solved. All of the characters were well rounded, even the ones I didn't particularly like. All in all, thought that this was a very good read and that Alice is an incredibly talented author!