The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
(St. Martin’s Press, 2011, 355 pages)
The Leftovers takes place in a world where something like the Rapture has taken place. All of a sudden millions of people worldwide are gone. This book looks at how a connected few of those left behind are trying to move forward. The central characters are members of the Garvey family. Kevin is now mayor of the small town of Mapleton. His wife, Laurie, has left the family and is living in a “commune” known as the Guilty Remainder whose sole purpose is to remind those left behind that they weren’t worthy enough to be called up – members of the GR dress all in white and have taken a vow of silence. Jill is in high school and is rebelling in various ways after her mother leaves to join the GR. The oldest child, Tom, dropped out of college shortly after the “rapture” and joined the ranks of a so-called prophet who went by the name of Holy Wayne. He’s only sporadically in touch with his family, and no one knows where he is or what he’s really doing.
While not quite what I expected, the premise of this book was interesting and Perrotta has you invested in the characters so you want to know what will happen. The ending had me frustrated because it was one of those “THAT’s the end?” feelings, but it was a unique story.