Book Review: Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

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Do you know elephants are the most empathetic species and are the largest living mammals. Another fact about them is that the mother and daughter elephants in wild live together until one of them dies. I’m sure, you might not know much about elephants, so, here I am with a new novel, “Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult” that explore many interesting facts about the elephant’s world and mother-daughter relationship.

Leaving time by Jodi Picoult follows the adventures of 13-year-old Jenna, who has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who had disappeared in tragic and mysterious circumstances. Over 10 years have passed, and she studies her mother’s journals, hoping to find some clue of her disappearance. Desperate for answers, Jenna recruits help from a psychic and private investigator. This story is an emotional read along with a complicated mother-daughter relationship. It dwells on grief and provides many opportunities for facilitating discussion.

There is also a great deal of focus in this book on elephants. You will study the research on elephants, particularly the aspect of their grief, which is quite instructive. The book also discusses the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter. After you feel immersed in the story, you realize what it means to be left behind and conclude that people you never love truly leave you.

It’s intriguing to see how this story unfolds as Jenna goes on to discover some truths about her mother with some help. I’m sure you will find it worth reading as well as I found it.

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult | Book Review 

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult Quotes

About The Author | Jodi Lynn Picoult 

The American author, Jodi Lynn Picoult, has written 27 novels, which have been translated into 34 languages and have sold 40 million copies. She was born in Nesconset, New York, on Long Island, U.S. She studied creative arts at Princeton University and graduated with an A.B. in English. Picoult graduated from Harvard University with a master’s degree the following year. She became the writer of the D.C. comic Marvel superhero series Wonder Woman.

As a popular and sometimes controversial writer, she is paradoxical. She has received numerous awards such as the New England booksellers award for fiction in 2003, Waterston’suthor of the year (U.K.), and many more. In 2014, Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House, published her twenty-third novel, Leaving Time.

Book Overview | Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

This contemporary mystery by Jodi Picoult was published on 14th October, 2014. Jodi Picoult, a bestselling author, deals with themes of love and loss, reveals that those we can’t forget are never truly gone, and explains the meaning of motherhood to show you how far we would go for love. The book contains many chapters about elephant behavior. It’s an engaging tale about a daughter searching for his mother disappeared more than a decade ago.

Where did the inspiration to write came from? Jodi shared an experience when her daughter was preparing to go to college, and her brother was already gone. She suddenly realized that she was becoming an empty nester and was upset more than she anticipated, then she imagined what it would be like to be left behind. In the middle of all these thoughts, She read in the National Geographic Magazine that in a wild elephant kingdom, a mother and daughter elephant stay together with their whole lives until one of them dies. She realized that this was the perfect metaphor for the book when she read that fact.

Is Leaving Time based on a true story? Jodi shared that one of her personal experiences helped her write the story, including her family relationship and her trip to Botswana. How did the research take place? Jodi Picoult began her research at The elephant sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee. She got a chance to explore the sanctuary. She also went to Botswana and worked with an elephant researcher, got a chance to observe incredible behaviors of elephants in their natural habitat. The most phenomenal thing she learned about elephants is that they have the depth of understanding for loss previous to this to quality to animals.

Who is the main character? Leaving Time Description of a teen’s search for her vanished mother, Alice Metcalf, an elephant researcher, studies grief and cognition in elephants. She studied them in Botswana and runs a sanctuary with her husband in New England. The novel is told from multiple points of view of 13-year-old Jenna Metcalf, her mother Alice, a dishonored psychic named Serenity, and Virgil’s detective. The story moves from past and present from one point of view to another, consistently flowing with mystery.

Book Summary | Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult 

Thirteen-year-old Jenna Metcalf grew up in a New England Elephants sanctuary with her parents. Jenna’s parents run an elephant sanctuary in New Hampshire. One night a horrible tragedy takes place at the sanctuary where an elephant tramples a Caregiver.

That same night Jenna’s mother, Alice Metcalf, went missing in the wake of this tragic accident when Jenna was only three years old. Jenna lives with her oddly distant maternal grandmother because her father has been institutionalized since the accident, where her mother Alice vanished.

Jenna begins the book ten years later believing that her mother would never have left her willingly and that she will find her mother. She begins investigating online and examines her mother’s journals. Alice, an elephant researcher, put down her research on the grief among elephants. Jenna tries hard and hopes to find some clues from her journals.

In great need of finding the truth, she enlists the help of two unlikely allies, Virgil Stanhope, a police investigator, who since became a washed-up drunken private, reluctantly agrees to help Jenna and Serenity Jones, who was a very successful psychic with the famous client until they made an epic mistake and finding the missing person grew in popularity.

The three of them work together to discover what happened to Alice. 

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult  Cover image

My Thoughts on Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

There are many interesting facts about elephants in Leaving time, including their relationship with one another and even the elephants’ experience when losing one of their own.

Losing a young calf by its mother is similar to that of the loss of a human character, and you will see that this parallels to the emotions of humans in the story. You will also explore the strong bond between the mother and child in the story. I particularly enjoyed Jodi’s inside look at an elephant sanctuary, which was fascinating because I am especially passionate about learning about elephants. Like me, if you love the theme of love and loss, you will love this book.

My Ratings on Leaving Time

I would happily rate this book 4.2 stars out of 5.

Final Words

By the end, you learns a lot about elephant and grief. It also teaches why elephants behave the way they do and why people do the things they do. The amount of information about elephants in this fictional work is amazing. 

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult would be my recommendation for those searching for a compelling story, beautiful writing, and even some humor. The most powerful and affecting novel with an impossible story to forget along with a twist you won’t see coming.

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