Monday, November 04, 2013

Book Club: The Leftovers – Tom Perrotta

The Leftovers
What if—whoosh, right now, with no explanation—a number of us simply vanished?  Would some of us think it was the Rapture?  Would some of us fall apart?  Would others go on just as we did before the world turned upside down?
That’s what the confused citizens of tidy suburban Mapleton have to figure out.  Kevin Garvey, the mayor, wants to speed up the healing process, even as his own family has atomized in the wake of what’s become known as the Sudden Departure:  Kevin’s wife, Laurie, has left to join a homegrown cult, the Guilty Remnant; his son, Tom, is gone, too, dropped out of college to follow a shady “prophet” named Holy Wayne and join his Healing Hug Movement.  Only Kevin’s teenaged daughter, Jill, is still with him, opaque and drifting since October 14th.  Kevin yearns to connect with her, even as he is distracted by a new relationship with Nora Durst, the saddest woman in Mapleton, trying to cope with the disappearance of her entire family. 
With heart, intelligence, and a rare ability to illuminate the struggles of ordinary people, Tom Perrotta has written a startling, thought-provoking novel about love, loss, and connection.

3/5 stars (liked it)
This book follows several characters in the years that follow what is being called “The Rapture”, which is basically the sudden disappearance of many people.  A man named Kevin, who is also mayor of a small town Mapleton.  Although he did not lose anyone in The Rapture his family is never the same.  His son Tom drops out of college and joins a man called Holy Wayne.  His daughter Jill, who is still in High School, makes friends with kids that are not great influences and parties quite a bit.  His wife, Laurie joins a cult called Guilty Remnant.  This cult takes a vow of silence.  Also being followed in this book is a woman named Nora.  She lost her husband and two kids.  All of these people grieve the lost of someone, a family member, a friend or a person from their past in many different ways.  I actually ended up liking this book and saw the changes in each character.  Although the end just seemed a little rushed and just kind of ends.

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