When I first saw the cover of Tom Perrotta’s “The Leftovers“, I was instantly intrigued to crack this book open! It’s not pictured, but the back of the book, has a pair of women’s flats that show smoke coming from them also. This is the story of the small town of Mapleton and the rebuilding of their community after October 14th, the day of the Rapture, when many of their loved ones were snatched out of thin air. Some were robbed of a spouse, a friend, a daughter and a son. There is no trace to follow, no one to blame, just utter disbelief and a lot of broken hearts.
Back on May 21, 2011, there was word that our world was going to end, that we were going to experience ‘the rapture’. I know personally, I’m always quick to shrug off these stories, ignore the signs that people draw on bristol board and continue to make plans barely second guessing that the news stories could ever become a reality. But let’s say hypothetically, that you are having a cocktail with a friend and you look up after taking a sip and all you can see if a puff of smoke and their shoes left behind. How would you come back from that? What would you believe in after that?
Tom Perrotta’s story addresses that exact point, we meet a suburban town that is left in shock and awe after they’ve been robbed of their friends and family members. We meet the Garvey family early on, they once were a typical family of four. Happy marriage between Kevin and Lauren, daughter Jill makes good grades and stays out of trouble and their son Kevin has just left home for the first time to go to University. Then the Rapture hits, luckily they’re all left standing on the ground, but their world is instantly shaken and they’re having trouble finding their footing after that horrific day.
Kevin, the mayor of Mapleton is bombarded with questions he can’t even begin to answer and unfortunately there is no rule book on how to solve this mystery. His wife Lauren’s faith is tested and she doesn’t know what to believe in anymore. She decides to join a cult-like group called the Guilty Remnant (the GR for short) where they’re required to wear white at all times and smoke cigarettes like they’re going out of style. It’s the only way she can even attempt to figure out what happened on October 14th. Lauren’s disappearance leaves her children mother-less and Jill is lost, with no direction. Her close bond she once shared with her Mother is broken and every path she’s taking doesn’t seem to be the right one. Lastly, we have Tom, who after the Rapture decides to follow the path of a man who claims he has powers, powers to heal the people ruined by the Rapture.
Needless to say, the Rapture robs everyone of their lives, the people stolen from the world and the people left behind. This is a story like none other I’ve read before. Tom Perrotta’s created a thoughtful, intriguing novel (once again) and I loved it so much that I’m willing to share it with one lucky reader in a giveaway!
*Just comment below to enter and you could be the proud owner of a copy of Tom Perrotta’s new book “The Leftovers”. You’ve got until Thursday, September 1st (until 10:00pmEST) to get your name is the big draw 😉 *