Monday, January 20, 2014

Book Review: The Turning by Francine Prose

The Turning

Francine Prose

246 Pages

Published September 25th, 2012

A dark house.
An isolated island.
Strange dreams
and even stranger
visions . . .
Jack is spending the summer on a private island far from modern conveniences. No Wi-Fi, no cell service, no one else on the island but a housekeeper and the two very peculiar children in his care. The first time Jack sees the huge black mansion atop a windswept hill, he senses something cold, something more sinister than even the dark house itself.
Soon, he feels terribly isolated and alone. Yet he is not alone. The house has visitors—peering in the windows, staring from across the shore. But why doesn't anyone else see them . . . and what do they want? As secrets are revealed and darker truths surface, Jack desperately struggles to maintain a grip on reality. He knows what he sees, and he isn't crazy. . . . Or is he?
From nationally acclaimed author Francine Prose comes a mind-bending story that will leave you realizing how subtle the lines that separate reality, imagination, and insanity really are.
Have you ever read a book, not quite sure if the main character was crazy or not? I felt like this throughout the entirety of The Turning, a psychological thriller type young adult novel about a boy named Jack, who spends the summer on a pretty creepy little island. A single, very rich family inherits the island, and people around the area who know of the place are very wary of it.

The story starts with Jack boarding a boat to get on this island. Immediately he starts witnessing some pretty disturbing things, and his excitement about his summer away from home quickly turns to a feeling of uneasiness. The story follows his entire summer on the island, keeping watch over two young kids that are far from ordinary. They exchange silent glances, act nothing like regular kids and overall seem.. possessed by some sort of otherworldly spirit.

I felt like the point of this story was to follow along and separate fact from fiction. To see if Jack is crazy, suffering from some mental illness, or if the island really is possessed by two very evil and very real spirits. To be honest the book had be confused at many points, and bored at others. After the ending I still wasn't sure how I felt about it, and I didn't make a solid opinion on how sane our main character was.

Though the story dragged at points, the pacing was fast enough to be pleasurable at others. The creepiness factor is what kept me going, and what ultimately saved the book for me. Though not one of my favorites, The Turning was a good afternoon read.

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear. I don't like books where I'm constantly trying to figure out what is real and what might just be in the characters head. So this might not be for me. I can't believe I hadn't heard of it though, I love that cover!