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.
I gave this book 2 out of 5 stars
I was originally intrigued by this book after seeing a preview for the television series. However,this has been one of the most disappointing books that I have ever read. I thought that the concept of this story was interesting, but it just didn’t hook me. The writing was too disjointed for me and wasn’t very clear. There were several times as I read that I had to go back because I lost track of what was going on. I couldn’t get a sense of who the characters were based on the little time that was spent on them before switching to another character. Maybe I just hadn’t gotten to the part where something finally happens, but I couldn’t get to that point. I felt as though I was reading a documentary/soap opera about a town where this tragedy occurred. This book honestly just left me very unhappy. Maybe later I will decide to finish it, but with all the amazing books I have recently read, I just couldn’t continue reading this book anymore.