Sep 27, 2011

Book Review: The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 355 pages

What if—whoosh, right now, with no explanation—a number of us simply vanished? Would some of us collapse? Would others of us go on, one foot in front of the other, as we did before the world turned upside down?

That’s what the bewildered citizens of Mapleton, who lost many of their neighbors, friends and lovers in the event known as the Sudden Departure, have to figure out. Because nothing has been the same since it happened—not marriages, not friendships, not even the relationships between parents and children.

Kevin Garvey, Mapleton’s new mayor, wants to speed up the healing process, to bring a sense of renewed hope and purpose to his traumatized community. Kevin’s own family has fallen apart in the wake of the disaster: his wife, Laurie, has left to join the Guilty Remnant, a homegrown cult whose members take a vow of silence; his son, Tom, is gone, too, dropping out of college to follow a sketchy prophet named Holy Wayne. Only Kevin’s teenaged daughter, Jill, remains, and she’s definitely not the sweet “A” student she used to be. Kevin wants to help her, but he’s distracted by his growing relationship with Nora Durst, a woman who lost her entire family on October 14th and is still reeling from the tragedy, even as she struggles to move beyond it and make a new start.

With heart, intelligence and a rare ability to illuminate the struggles inherent in ordinary lives, Tom Perrotta has written a startling, thought-provoking novel about love, connection and loss.

This book was interesting but it struggled to grab my attention. It's an interesting concept with intriguing characters but it never lived up to the potential it could've had.

When I love a book I actually struggle to put it down and force myself to get some sleep. (I really do stay up until ridiculous hours reading, its probably not healthy) But with this book I would read a chapter or two then not want to read more and easily put it down for sleep instead.

I'm not sure why I couldn't get drawn into this story. I enjoyed all of his characters and how the story was being told but it just never succeeded in sucking me in. I can't really recommend this book to anyone; I guess if you're out of reading material and want to try this book out? It's not horrible just not mind-grabbing though I would recommend checking it out of a public library...

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