Writing reviews isn’t my strong point (almost as bad as writing blurbs for the back of the book!), but I thought I’d give it a go here for my fellow readers!
I recently raced through Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. It was definitely a book I stayed up late reading! Picoult’s storytelling skills were masterful here, weaving tales and plot points together seamlessly to culminate in the surprise twist at the end, which I definitely didn’t see coming.
There’s Jenna, a thirteen-year-old girl who wants to find her mother, who disappeared when she was three.
There’s Alice, the mother who disappeared after a murder at the elephant sanctuary at which she worked, whose life’s work was studying grief in elephants.
There’s Serenity, the lapsed psychic who once reached fame solving celebrity cases, but fell from grace and now fakes living-room readings for a living.
And there’s Virgil, the detective who was supposed to help solve the mystery of the murder at the elephant sanctuary, and who has never forgiven himself for leaving the case unsolved.
The story of their quest to find Alice is interspersed with fascinating details of the complex emotional lives of elephants, joining together to create a well-researched, well-executed tale.
After finishing, I checked other reviews on Amazon. I was surprised to see so many negative reviews—just goes to show you, you can’t please everyone. Many who didn’t like it thought there was too much emphasis on elephants. Personally I found those bits really interesting, and there was clearly a subtext of the contrasts and parallels between elephants’ behavior and the happenings in the plot. I found it to be a really interesting way to learn about elephants, but I suppose it wouldn’t appeal to anyone.
As a fellow writer, I was highly impressed by how beautifully Picoult structured her tale. As a reader, I couldn’t put the book down. I don’t do 1 to 5 star ratings if I can help it, but I definitely recommend this one!
For anyone looking for more Picoult, Second Glance is another long-time favorite.
Check out Pam’s books!
- The Universes Inside the Lighthouse—YA sci-fi adventure / first in the Balky Point Adventures
- The Wishing Rock series—women’s fiction / wit, wisdom, and recipes
- The Pam on the Map series—travelogues / wit and wanderlust