Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What if the Rapture happened and you were left behind?

Imagine a world in which some of your loved ones and neighbors have simply vanished without a trace and you are left behind.
That's the world Tom Perrotta has crafted in "The Leftovers" (now available in paperback).
A few months ago that's what happened when we meet the citizens (or what's left of them) of  Mapleton.
The Sudden Departure as it's called has left families splintered far beyond the that initial  disappearance as those not taken struggle to find a way to move forward.
Some like Kevin want to pick up the pieces and move on. His wife Laurie has joined a group called the Guilty Remnant and taken a vow of silence. Their son Tom becomes one of the "Holy Wayners," followers of a prophet of sorts. Daughter Jill is an eyewitness. She was right next to one who was taken.
Whose way is right? Was the Sudden Departure an act of God? Why were only some taken?
Big questions all. But the heart of Perrotta's novel is really about the ordinary, about those relationships central to our existence.
Nora, the only member of her family not taken, says it best:

"I'm not greedy. I'm not asking for that perfect day at the beach. Just give me that horrible Saturday, all four of us sick and miserable, but alive, and together. Right now that sounds like heaven to me."

Fans of Perrotta's from "The Abstinence Teacher" and "Little Children" will not be disappointed.

Let me know if you agree.

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