Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
My Rating 4/5 Star
I started reading Jodi Picoult around 15 years ago and I can remember reading my very first novel of hers, Plain Truth, and immediately being hooked by her ability to write about interpersonal relationships. Since then, I’ve read all but three of her solo, full length novels. Some I love more than others. Leaving Time definitely falls into the category of one of her novels I rather enjoyed.
Leaving Time is the story of Jenna Metcalf …a 13 year old girl searching for her mother, Alice, who disappeared from Jenna’s life 10 years previous. Alice was a renowned scientist who had lived in Africa previously and studied grief in elephants. Jenna’s father is an inpatient in a mental health facility and she lives in the care of her maternal grandmother who would rather not talk about the daughter she lost…so Jenna is alone in her search of what happened to make her mother disappear 10 years ago.
She is able to get some help from a long retired detective turned private investigator, Virgil, and a psychic named Serentity in her hunt for answers and closure.
This novel does follow a very similar pattern to Picoult’s other novels where each chapter is told in the perspective of a different character. I happen to really like that aspect of her books. Another thing I really enjoyed about this story was the information about elephants. Because Alice is a scientist researching elephants, we get to read her journal entries and see the research she does about the animals in the wild of Africa. Elephants happen to be one of my favorite animals so I quite enjoyed this part of the book…it was almost like getting a little bit of nonfiction mixed in.
I also loved the twist at the end of the story. I’m not going to get into too much detail here, because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone…but I definitely didn’t see it coming at all…which was great!
Overall, this could probably be considered typical “chick lit” (even thought I don’t really care for that name). It’s a great story with a unexpected ending.