Leaving Time
by Jodi Picoult

Throughout her blockbuster career, Jodi Picoult has seamlessly blended nuanced characters, riveting plots, and rich prose, brilliantly creating stories that not only provoke the mind but touch the flawed souls in all of us ("The Boston Globe").

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More About Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
Throughout her blockbuster career, Jodi Picoult has seamlessly blended nuanced characters, riveting plots, and rich prose, brilliantly creating stories that not only provoke the mind but touch the flawed souls in all of us ("The Boston Globe"). Now, in her highly anticipated new novel, she has delivered her most affecting work yet a book unlike anything she s written before.
For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe she was abandoned, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice s old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother s whereabouts.
Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest: Serenity Jones, a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons, only to later doubt her gifts, and Virgil Stanhope, the jaded private detective who d originally investigated Alice s case along with the strange, possibly linked death of one of her colleagues. As the three work together to uncover what happened to Alice, they realize that in asking hard questions, they ll have to face even harder answers.
As Jenna s memories dovetail with the events in her mother s journals, the story races to a mesmerizing finish. A deeply moving, gripping, and intelligent page-turner, "Leaving Time" is Jodi Picoult at the height of her powers.
Praise for "Leaving Time"
Piercing and uplifting . . . a smart, accessible yarn with a suspenseful puzzle at its core. "The Boston Globe"
Poignant . . . an entertaining tale about parental love, friendship, loss. "The Washington Post"
A riveting drama. "Us Weekly"
A] moving tale. "People"
A fast-paced, surprise-ending mystery. "USA Today"
In Jenna, Jodi] Picoult has created an unforgettable character who will easily endear herself to each and every reader. . . . "Leaving Time" may be her finest work yet. "Bookreporter"
A] captivating and emotional story. "BookPage"
With plenty of twists and a surprising ending, "Leaving Time"] explores the grieving process and what happens when we cannot move on. "Woman s Day"
A moving and emotional story. "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette"
A truly engaging read . . . Full of the deep characters and multilayered story lines that have earned Picoult] a spot in many readers hearts. "Library Journal"
Delivers a powerhouse ending. "Booklist"
Memorable and poignant. "Publishers Weekly""

  • ISBN-13: 9780345544926
  • ISBN-10: 0345544927
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • Publish Date: October 2014
  • Page Count: 405

Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Contemporary Women
Books > Fiction > Sagas
Books > Fiction > Mystery & Detective - General

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-06-16
  • Reviewer: Staff

Picoult’s (The Storyteller) novel explores grief, memory, and motherhood through the unlikely lens of elephant behavior. Jenna Metcalf was three years old when her mother, Alice, disappeared from the elephant sanctuary where she worked as a researcher. Ten years later, Jenna is ready to launch a search. After poring over her mother’s research journals, consulting the Internet, and visiting her father in the mental institution where he’s been since shortly after the disappearance, she enlists outside assistance from Serenity Jones, a once-famous psychic whose gift appears to have deserted her, and Virgil Stanhope, the gruff, alcoholic ex-police detective who was once assigned to Alice’s case. With their help, Jenna finds new evidence at the now-closed sanctuary and begins to piece together the events of the night her mother disappeared, leading her to a few uncomfortable truths about the past, but bringing much-needed closure to her and her dad. Longtime fans of Picoult will recognize some of her stock characters—the precocious, sassy teenager; the distant, philosophical mother; the curmudgeonly surrogate father figure—as well the her trademark twist ending, which may well be her strangest to date. When she diverges from her usual formula her storytelling skills are most evident. The pachyderms are as complex as the humans, making the journey memorable and poignant. (Oct.)

BookPage Reviews

Seeking memory among elephants

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.

BAM Customer Reviews