You're sitting down to a family meal and whoosh--you're the only one left at the kitchen table. Everyone else has vanished. That's the premise of Perrotta's The Leftovers: people disappearing and how those left deal with the situation. It's part Twilight Zone
(even Stephen King described it as the "best Twilight Zone episode you never saw"), part religious Rapture, and mainly fantasy as this master writer offers up several hundred pages of absorbing and penetrating prose.
Perrotta's tale describes the daily grind of those left behind and insinuates himself into the very molecules of his characters as they struggle to remain sane and define themselves in this post-apocalyptic world. Known as the Sudden Departure, the disappearence of millions of people leave those left behind in unique situations. Some try to continue their lives as if nothing happened, and of course that's impossible. Others join cults, either the Guilty Remnants or followers of Holy Wayne, a would-be prophet who seems to offer answers but in the end turns out
to be little more than a liar, rapist and manipulator.
Tom Perrotta is one of the best writers out there, and The Leftovers will keep you glued to the pages until the very last.