This was the November choice for the Books, Babes, and Bordeaux book club, and it’s a book that I picked for us because I had heard so many interesting things about it. Like What Alice Forgot and Turn of Mind, this book also dealt with a woman who was struggling with her memory, and like the other books, it was suspenseful. But for some reason, this book wasn’t as spine tingling as I would have hoped it would be. This may be because I listened to it on audio, and for some reason the narrator, Orlagh Cassidy, had some odd ways of speaking that took some of the urgency out of the tale. Though she was a great narrator, she never really got jazzed up or became frantic in her reading, which is something I would have expected due to the storie’s strange revelations and dire nature.
Overall, this is a story that had me thinking deeply not only about memory and how it affects our everyday lives, but specifically about the situation that the characters found themselves in. The frustration and uncertainty of never knowing who or where you were, the anguish of realizing that you’ve been mentally running grooves in the same track day after day for years, and the incredible loneliness that must accompany this kind of life must have been unbearable. I can’t imagine a life where even your family and friends are strangers and cause you to be frightened and suspicious and provoke fear from you every time you encounter them. There was a great interplay between Christine’s desire for connection and her fear of the unknown threaded throughout this narrative. Over the course of the book, the reader becomes privy to more and more of the secrets that everyone is keeping from her, while Christine seems to endlessly forget all her progress, day after day.
A few of the plot points toward the end of the book did end up stretching credulity for me a bit, but since I was very curious about what would eventually happen with Christine, I allowed myself to be swept away into the story and didn’t spend a lot of time questioning the things that I knew were a little far-fetched. As far as memory loss stories go, this wasn’t the best but it did leave me anticipating the eventual outcome and endlessly pondering Christine’s situation. Even now, I’m still thinking about the ramifications of this type of problem, and specifically, I’m wondering what happens after the final chapter. It was a different sort of suspense book, and one that I enjoyed, but I doubt it will be on any “best of” lists in the future.
If you’re the type of reader who enjoys suspense/thrillers with a little bit of an unpredictable edge to them, I would recommend this book to you but I would have to assert that the print version is probably better than the audio, and wish that I had read the book instead of listening to it. While I liked the book and thought it was a pretty solid read, I still maintain that if you want a great story that deals with some of the same elements and that will leave you twisting in your seat, head right out and pick up Turn of Mind.