Wednesday, October 22, 2014

the emotional wringer

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
Genre: fiction
Review: I was actually breathless when I finished this book, because I read so fast to find out how it ended.  Also because my heart was in my throat from all the emotion that is packed into the end.

This book presents as a fairly straightforward missing-person-type mystery.  Jenna is 13.  Ten years ago, one of the caretakers died at the elephant sanctuary her parents ran.  The same night, Jenna's mother disappeared and her father had a mental break that has had him in a psychiatric facility ever since.  Now, Jenna wants to find her mother.  She enlists the help of a lapsed psychic, and one of the detectives who was on the case 10 years ago, who is now a private investigator.  So far, so normal.  It's a good read, filled with sympathetic characters, and interesting facts about elephants.

Then, Picoult turns the story on its side, and we have to re-evaluate everything we thought we knew about what happened that tragic night at the elephant sanctuary.  Then, she turns it completely upside-down, and you realize that you didn't know anything about anything.  Throughout these twists and turns the emotion is being ratcheted up, until you can't possibly put the book down until you get to the very last page.  Fortunately, while I wouldn't describe it as a happy ending, it's a satisfying ending, and one that is well worth being put through the emotional wringer.

FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for this review.