The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta–My Review

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta.

Published May 22nd 2012 by St. Martin’s Griffin (first published August 30th 2011).

This is a book that I won from the Goodreads first-reads program. First of all, I would like to thank both Goodreads and Joseph Goldschein for giving me the chance to read and review this book.

The Leftovers was a very intriguing read. The story starts out with random people vanishing all other the earth. Some are convinced that its the Rapture, only it’s puzzling because many non-Christians vanished and many Christians were “left behind.” The book mainly focuses on how one family and their loved ones deal with the disappearances three years later.

The family the book centers around was left intact, but the daughter’s best friend was a victim of the mass disappearance. This girl’s disappearance not only affects the daughter, but the entire family. The mother, Laurie, abandons the family and joins a cult who dresses in white, smokes cigarettes, take a vow of silence, and follow people around until the “end days” arrive. The husband, Kevin, ends up becoming the town’s mayor and struggles with the loss of his wife, and later his son. He also has to deal with raising their teenage daughter and her friend all on his own.

The son, Tom, returns to college but ends up joining a cult being led by a so-called Holy man with many underage spiritual brides. The daughter shaves her head, befriends a rowdy girl named Aimee who becomes her and her father’s housemate, and starts failing her classes while yearning for her mother.

I really thought the cults in this book were interesting and somewhat realistic. The characters were also very realistic and even though there was a huge cast of them, they were all different. I think I enjoyed Jill and Kevin the best. I was sympathetic toward Laurie at times, but she also came off as being selfish for abandoning her family. I also liked Kevin’s love interest but ended up becoming disappointed with her at the end.

I was going to give this book 3.5 stars until the end. I’m not sure I quite understand the end. It didn’t seemed wrapped up at all, and my reaction at finishing the last page was this: HUH? Is that it?

Overall this was well written with an interesting plot, setting, and characters. There were many scenes I enjoyed. However, I would have liked this book better if the ending had been wrapped up a bit better (unless I’m just not GETTING it) and I would have liked to see more explanation concerning the shootings and the cult. I would definitely recommend it because it was a very good read.

I was not paid to write this review. The opinions stated are merely my own.

I give this book 3 stars.

 

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