Summary (from Goodreads):
“Throughout her blockbuster career, #1 New York Times bestselling author 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 book, she has delivered her most affecting novel yet—and one 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 that she would be abandoned as a young child, 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. The first is Serenity Jones, a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons—only to later doubt her gifts. The second is Virgil Stanhope, a jaded private detective who 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.”
I was talking to a coworker about this book and I said that I think it reminds me most of Jodi Picoult’s book Lone Wolf. It’s different from most of her other books (although I still haven’t read The Storyteller, which I’m guessing is also different) and it deals as much with animals as it does people.
I absolutely adored this book and its central mystery. I felt for Jenna, who has no idea what happened to her mom, and whether she’s alive or dead. (And really, which of those is the better scenario? If Alice is alive, then she chose to leave Jenna…but at least they could have a relationship, possibly, if Jenna could find her. If she’s dead, then at least she loved Jenna and would’ve stayed if she could.)
Jodi Picoult’s biggest strength is writing characters. I immediately knew who these people were, and so seeing things happen to them was upsetting. (Yes, I treat fictional characters like they’re real. Shut up.)