STARRED REVIEW
October 2014

Seeking memory among elephants

By Jodi Picoult
As a longtime Picoult fan, I was anxious to devour her latest novel, Leaving Time. And she doesn’t disappoint: Once again, Picoult has masterfully woven what appear to be incongruous events and people together into one captivating and emotional story. This time around, the author’s extensive research on elephants and their surprisingly human emotions are a highlight. But wait, there’s more: She has also included a down-on-her-luck psychic, a spunky teen and a haunting murder.
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As a longtime Picoult fan, I was anxious to devour her latest novel, Leaving Time. And she doesn’t disappoint: Once again, Picoult has masterfully woven what appear to be incongruous events and people together into one captivating and emotional story. This time around, the author’s extensive research on elephants and their surprisingly human emotions are a highlight. But wait, there’s more: She has also included a down-on-her-luck psychic, a spunky teen and a haunting murder.

Thirteen-year-old Jenna Metcalf is consumed with memories of her mother, Alice, a scientist who studied grief and other emotions among elephants. Alice vanished after a tragic accident at the New Hampshire elephant sanctuary that she, her husband and Jenna once called home. Using Alice’s research journals as well as a psychic and the detective who originally investigated the disappearance of her mother, Jenna tries to piece together why her family was ripped apart.

Picoult explores the mother-daughter bond from a unique vantage point. Using both elephants and human beings, she asks, are we that much different from our pachyderm friends when it comes to processing emotion? Leaving Time is an emotional study of what mothers will do for their young—and in true Picoult form, the author delivers an ending that even her biggest fans won’t be able to predict.

 

 

This article was originally published in the October 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Leaving Time

Leaving Time

By Jodi Picoult
Ballantine
ISBN 9780345544926

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