20 Nov 2014

LEAVING TIME.


LEAVING TIME by JODI PICOULT.

SOURCE: A GoodReads win.

INNER FRONT COVER BLURB: Jenna Metcalf was with her mother the night she disappeared in tragic and mysterious circumstances, but she remembers nothing.

Over ten years have passed, and still Jenna reads and rereads her mother's journals, hoping to find some clue hidden there, in the meticulous recording of her scientific research with elephants.

Desperate for answers, Jenna uses all her savings to recruit the aid of a private detective - and a psychic.

Jenna knows her mother loved her. She knows she would not leave her. And she will not rest until she finds out what happened that night.

In her most gripping mystery since House Rules, Jodi Piccoult brings us a powerful story of a young girl's determination to uncover the truth, however shocking and life-changing it might be.

FIRST SENTENCE {Prologue: Jenna}: Some people used to believe that there was an elephant graveyard - a place that sick and old elephants would travel to die.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 51}: I should tell you I haven't dreamed in years. Dreaming is the closest the average human gets to the paranormal plane; it's the time when the mind lets down its guard and the walls get thin enough for their to be glimpses to the other side.

MY THOUGHTS: Possibly the hardest book I've ever had to review for fear of giving a major plot development away. I only hope I'm not saying too much when I say that I can't remember having enjoyed a book so much only to be so disillusioned and bitterly disappointed come the end.

Quite unlike anything else I have ever read by this author though I'm led to believe it isn't too dissimilar to Lone Wolf. 

Essentially a story with memory and the bond between mother and child (whether or not they be human or elephant) as its central themes, as much as Leaving Time concentrates on the love and grief felt by a daughter (Jenna) for her missing mother (Alice), a psychic clairvoyant (Serenity) and police officer turned alcoholic private eye (Virgil) for their careers and previous lives, Leaving Time also delves into the grieving process of elephants.

Set partly in the Savannah's of Africa, partly in an elephant sanctuary, for the main part the story is that of a teenager in search of her mother who, in the wake of an accident at said sanctuary, mysteriously disappeared ten years previously. The story is narrated chapter by chapter by its four main characters, in the case of Alice traversing between Africa and the sanctuary. 

Sound confusing? Despite its multiple narratives, its jumping between the past and present, its assorted subplots I actually found it surprisingly easy to follow, the flow not as disturbed as I had feared, the elephant aspect fascinating. OK, so there were warning signs that things were getting, well, a bit implausible come page three hundred or so but it really was the ending, the last twenty five or thereabouts, that spoilt it for me.


10 comments:

Gina R said...

My goodness! You have had a string of them of late haven't you? Have not read this author's work as of yet, though THE STORYTELLER is in my TBR mountain. Surprised that the flow was easy to follow as it DOES sound rather confusing. Better luck next read around!

Suko said...

Tracy, thanks for sharing your thoughts about this book so clearly and honestly. I enjoyed reading the Memorable Moment. I'm sorry you found the ending to be such a disappointment.

Sherry Ellis said...

This sounded like a book I'd enjoy until I read the comment about the ending. I may still read it, though.

Kelly said...

I'm totally intrigued by your review. Your comments about the ending clinch it for me, though. I don't want to risk that same disappointment.

Camila Rafaela Felippi said...

Some books have endings that disappoint us. I, for exemple, don't like Nicholas Sparks's books because they are sad, it makes me depressed!

Brandi Kosiner said...

Sounds unique-- I have liked some of hers and didn't finish others

Melliane said...

what a beautiful cover! BUt I don't know, not sure. Well first for the end and them I'm afraid I would be lost with everything but maybe it's something that need to be tried. I think I'll pass.

Brian Joseph said...

The disappointing ending is too bad. You mention implausibility. I think that many books do not need to be plausible.However, Some really do need plausibility. When a book is plausible throughout, and then switches to the implausible at the end, it can be a disaster. If I understand correctly that is what happens here.

Barbara Fisher said...

I usually enjoy anything by Jodi Picoult. I still remember the story of Lone Wolf (unusual for me because I usually forget the last story as soon as I move onto the next one).
What a shame you were disappointed by the ending, I still have to read it though if only to see what I think of it.

So many books, so little time said...

I love this author, I don't have this book although one of my friends is going to send me it. I read and really liked Lone Wolf due to it being different and the theme of animals being involved. I look forward to getting my hands on this one. Thanks for reviewing.

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net