By Chet Yarbrough
TURN OF MIND By Alice LaPlace
“Turn of Mind” scares the pants off aging parents and their children.
Alice LaPlante expertly puts a reader into a dementia burdened mind. The main character, Jennifer White, is a doctor spiraling down a darkening rabbit hole. The reader searches for truth between imagination and remembrance. A murder has occurred and the prime suspect is the 61 year old doctor.
The scare of the story is not the murder; it is the terror of forgetting and the burden of living. Doctor White tries to remember faces and names. She raises hell with her family and nursing staff. Her two children are reluctantly compelled to commit her to a complete care facility because Dr. White’s dementia exceeds a care giver’s ability to manage her at home.
The murder mystery is not solved by Doctor Jennifer White. Snatches of her memory and confessions of others reveal the murderer and solve the crime.
LaPlante’s story is a fairly good mystery but it is most interesting because it reminds a reader of the tragic and scary consequence of dementia. The poor, at least today, have Medicaid for this long life disease. The rich have insurance. The middle class have bankruptcy. “Turn of Mind” is a primer on what dementia means to a sufferer and his or her family.