Published by Ballantine Books on October 14th, 2014
Genres: Fiction, Literary
Children are the anchors of a mother’s life.
~Sophocles, Phaedra, fragment 612
Having read almost all of Jodi Picoult’s previous novels I knew I was settling in for a treat of a read. Thirteen year old Jenna Metcalf enlists the help of two very unlikely sources ~ Serenity, a psychic with a load of baggage and Victor/Virgil the alcoholic detective turned P.I. who investigated a death at the elephant sanctuary Jenna’s parents owned 10 years prior.
Jodi Picoult has been labeled a master storyteller by Stephen King ~ in my opinion, Leaving Time is truly Picoult’s best novel to date. Told in alternating voices we are given clues throughout of what happened the night Alice Metcalf disappeared and long-time elephant caregiver, Nevvie, was discovered trampled by one of the elephants.
When the plot lines intersect, cross over and under and around as they did in Leaving Time, it is not uncommon to discover a slip up somewhere. Not so in this gem. Every tendril of the story was wrapped up – not in a nice neat package, but rather in a manner that felt real. The characters from thirteen year old Jenna, her mother Alice, Serenity and Virgil – each one is an individual fully fleshed out in their own right. But the true beauty of the novel is reading about the elephants. The research that went into this novel is so thorough – the plight of both wild elephants and those in captivity, the different challenges faced by each group and the grief and the “allomothering” – wow! I wanted to jump inside the novel and be Alice for a time.
Then the research into psychics and elephants – the way Picoult integrates her new-found knowledge into the novel without making it seem dusty and dry is so seamless.
Leaving Time is for anyone who loves animals, especially elephants. It is for mothers of daughters and daughters of mothers; for those dealing with a mental illness – either personally or with a loved one. It is for the man who sees no redemption for his actions and for the ones who have talked to the other side. It will leave you feeling many emotions including sated and satisfied. Highly, highly recommended.
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Jodi Picoult has also given us the novella Larger Than Life for those wanting to wade a bit deeper into the background of Alice Metcalf and her research with elephant grief. It is just as fabulous as Leaving Time and will take you on roller coaster ride of emotions.
We also have Where There’s Smoke that introduces us to Serenity Jones, the psychic in Leaving Time. I read this one several months ago and could not wait to get me hands on Leaving Time which had not been released at that time – do yourself a favor and get all three! Set aside a weekend of Jodi Picoult reading and start with Where There’s Smoke and Larger Than Life prior to Leaving Time. So so good!
*currently Where There’s Smoke is free for Kindle, Kobo, and Nook and Larger Than Life is $1.99.
I’d love to know what was the last book you read that had you hungering for more, more, more from the author or the storyline? Share in the comments 🙂