The Turning

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The Turning
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
September 25, 2012
ISBN
0061999660
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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.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Extremely Impersonal
Overall rating
 
2.7
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
2.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
THE TURNING is written completely in letter form, mostly from a boy, Jack, to his girlfriend Sophia. The only problem I have with that is they are very impersonal, written more like a journal entry with her name tossed in here and there. Jack doesn’t really talk to her about what he’s thinking or feeling just what he’s doing. So you never actually get to know him because you’re not getting any personality from him and you don’t get to know him from people. This all makes the book seem very detached and sort of ….empty.

There also isn’t really much of a story that could make up for the lack of character. It doesn’t get anywhere very fast and where it does get isn’t much of anywhere. There is no solid conclusion; the book just leaves you hanging in the end. But not in the creepy, cool sort of way.

None of these flaws were particularly painful, and the book was as a whole entertaining but sort of shallow. I read it rather quickly, but was left feeling rather indifferent. While THE TURNING really had no major problems, it just had the feeling the Jack didn’t care, so you don’t care either.

But if this sort of format is your thing and you don’t have a problem with not getting pulled in, there’s no reason not to read this book. It was simply, for me, an entertaining way to pass a few hours. And when it was over I moved on the next one, pretty much indifferent.
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Turning: Keeps You Turning the Page
(Updated: October 01, 2012)
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Phew! What a roller coaster of a read. The Turning, a modern day retelling of the Turn of the Screw, is a thrill ride full of twists and shadows. I picked up the book one evening and could not go to sleep until I knew how it would end! As a reader, I began to question what was real and what might be an illusion. Can I rely on the stories given to me by the narrators? Who is telling the truth?

The Turning is an epistolary novel, or a story told through letters. This is a great writing device for a thriller novel. The reader must either trust each narrator or be left in shadows of doubt. This helps build suspense throughout the novel. I loved the two children in the novel- unusual and a little out of time, they bring a sense of creepy evil to the novel. Jack, the main character, soon like a childhood friend. Who wouldn't hate being in a house with no TV, wifi or telephone? But who wouldn't take a job that paid well? But I kept asking myself . . . Is everything what is seems?

This is a great book to read on a fall evening when tree branches are scraping the side of the house while the wind makes everyone creak and moan in unfamiliar ways.
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