Review: Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Title: Leaving Time
Author: Jodi Picoult
Pages: 398
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Ballantine (Random House)
Pub. Date: October 14, 2014

I have read almost all of Jodi Picoult's books but hadn't read any in the past few years. I picked up Leaving Time because it was chosen for book club in June. Plus, with it being about elephants, I thought it sounded really interesting.

Unfortunately, I have to say this was one of my least favorites of her books. Learning about elephants was interesting, but I found it to be a little heavy on the information sometimes and less focused on the story. I have noticed this before with her books in that she shares so much of her research; I think sometimes it's distracting and sometimes it's not, but in this case it sort of was. I also found some of it to be very repetitive. Yes, elephants grieve and have emotions, and, yes, I realize elephant mothers are the best ever and are super bonded to their babies. I felt like I was hearing these things over and over.

The story itself was good in places but weird, too. Basically, a 13-year-old girl (maybe 12?), Jenna, is looking for her mother. Back when she was little, her mother was trampled by an elephant and taken to the hospital where she left and hasn't been heard from since. Jenna manages to get a psychic and private detective to help her search for her mom. I actually didn't care that much for this mystery. I also thought I could see any "twist" that was happening and didn't care for it... Turned out I was wrong... But, I'm of two minds about the ending. On the one hand I was surprised and intrigued, but on the other hand I thought it was sort of... well... I really can't say unless you read it! But it was sort of a cheat in some ways and it wasn't my favorite.

If you love all her books I would go ahead and read this one too, but otherwise I would start with some of her others.


Ti said...

The only book I could get through of hers, was Nineteen Minutes. I think that was the name of it. Her writing is not for me.

Marlene Detierro said...

Wow...never saw the ending on this one. And I'm a HUGE Jodi Picoult fan. I love her style of writing - telling the story thru many Protagonists pov's. You get a true feel for each character. And she always packs lots of research information that is NOT tedious - I liked learning about elephants. Recommend.

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Sheldon (Marketing Consultant, Tauranga, NZ) said...

Oh! Sorry you didn't enjoy this one as much! Do you get asked by friends which Jodi Picoult book they should start with, or which one they should read next? I've proposed a reading order on my blog and I was wondering if you had any suggestions to improve my list?

Hyacinth Marius said...

This is somewhat different from the many novels I have read by J. Picoult. This book, too, has many twists and turns, with both a complex set of characters along with a surprising and unexpected ending. However, if I hadn't known in advance that she was the author, I would not have guessed she wrote it because it differs from her regular format. Excellent and enthralling book!

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