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Book Review of Leaving Time: A Novel

Leaving Time: A Novel
Readnmachine avatar reviewed on + 1432 more book reviews


Jodi Picoult fans know going in that she's going to throw the reader a curve ball that seemingly comes from nowhere and knocks all preconceptions and assumptions into the middle of next week. âLeaving Time' is no exception. This novel's twist will leave you breathless. Guaranteed.

It starts with three people who have lost something â a young teen who lost her mother, a psychic who lost her gift, and an ex-cop who has lost his faith. Together, they try to follow a crumbling trail that leads back a decade, to a night of violent death and heartbreaking abandonment.

Picoult uses the background of elephant research to give the book an interesting slant and to provide both questions and answers about their behavior, particularly in how elephant societies are structured and how they deal with death and grief. It works nicely with the main themes of memory, loss, and trauma, and even though the reader will think they understand what Picoult is doing with her foreshadowing, they'll be wrong. Looking backward, there are clues and indications of what she's building, but they are inserted so smoothly and fit what appears to be the action of the plot so organically that they simply fly in under the radar.

Read this book. Enjoy it. Be surprised as hell at the ending. And have a Kleenex handy for the last couple of chapters.