Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta

One day, people all over the world just disappear, never to be seen again. The residents of the town of Mapleton are affected by the event, called the "Sudden Departure," in different ways. Nora Durst lost her husband and two young children. The Garvey family had no one disappear, but teenager Jill lost her best friend. Now three years after the event, lives are still in an unsettled state. Kevin Garvey, father and husband, is now mayor of Mapleton. His wife, Laurie, has left the family to join the Guilty Remnant, a group that dresses in white, smokes constantly, takes a vow of silence and breaks ties with their loved ones. Tom, their son, has dropped out of college and is following a "healing prophet" called Holy Wayne. Jill has lost all interest in academics and is hanging out with Aimee (a bad influence), who has moved into the Garvey home with Kevin and her. Meanwhile without her family, Nora struggles to move forward with her life. Perrotta explores the choices people make when faced with a possible life-changing event. I enjoyed The Leftovers more than his last novel, The Abstinence Teacher, but not as much as Little Children which I loved.

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