February 21, 2016

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Title:  Leaving Time
Author:  Jodi Picoult
Pages:  405
Genre:  Mystery
Publisher:  Ballantine, 2014
Series:  Stand Alone

Synopsis:  Alice Metcalf was a devoted mother, loving wife, and accomplished scientist who studied grief among elephants. Yet it's been a decade since she disappeared under mysterious circumstances, leaving behind her small daughter, husband, and the animals to which she devoted her life. All signs point to abandonment . . . or worse. Still Jenna--now thirteen years old and truly orphaned by a father maddened by grief--steadfastly refuses to believe in her mother's desertion. So she decides to approach the two people who might still be able to help her find Alice: a disgraced psychic named Serenity Jones, and Virgil Stanhope, the cynical detective who first investigated her mother's disappearance and the death of one of her mother's co-workers. Together these three lonely souls will discover truths destined to forever change their lives. Deeply moving and suspenseful, Leaving Time is a radiant exploration of the enduring love between mothers and daughters.
...in spite of what Serenity's said -- in spite of what I had believed -- she's not a lousy psychic. She's a fucking great one.
Review:  This book kept me guessing until the very end.  I was so sure I knew what had happened to Jenna's mother.  It turns out, I was nowhere near the truth.  This book was written from several points of view, mostly using Jenna and Alice, and it was easy to get so caught up in the story that I'd forget whose part I was reading.

The characters were all great.  Jenna and her mother, Alice, and her father, Thomas, are at the center of the story.  But, Serenity, the psychic, and Virgil, the ex-police officer, were more important to the quest to find out what had happened ten years ago, when Alice vanished.

I loved the little bits of obscure information about elephants.  Learning about the way they interact, live and treat one another was an eye-opening experience for me.  Realizing how poorly this incredible animal is being treated made me angry and sad.

I was completely unprepared for the ending and found myself in tears.  This was a great novel, one of Ms. Picoult's better ones, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Rating:  9 / 10

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