Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta

The plot of this book intrigued me. What if something, Rapture-like, has taken millions of people one day? What happens to those who are left to deal with the chaos and bewilderment? This book isn't Left Behind. It's not religious and it doesn't even say it was the Rapture, just a day where millions of people vanished, all religious types, all beliefs, nothing to join anyone together.

First, what you get is very angry Christians who believe they should have been taken as well, and since they weren't, they make it their mission to unearth every deep nasty secret about those who were taken to prove that the phenomenon wasn't the Rapture. You get people who try to ignore the whole thing happened. You get people who lose their entire families in a split second and have to figure out how to survive. You get people who join cults to try and make sense of what happened.

This book is a story, of ordinary people living through something extraordinary, and not doing such a great job at it. We follow the Garvey family: Kevin, Laurie, Tom and Jill, who survived the event intact but end up broken apart. We also meet Nora, who lost her husband and 2 small kids and realizes that she is broken beyond help, no matter how hard she fakes it.

The ending gives some hope but the entire book is a sad read of people just struggling to live their ordinary lives that somehow fell off the tracks.
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