Posts Tagged With: Jodi Picoult

Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

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Title: Lone Wolf
Author: Jodi Picoult
ISBN: 978-1444729016
Publisher:  Hodder
First Published:  Feb 2012 (hardback) / Oct 2012 (paperback)
No .of pages:  496

Rating: 3/5

Synopsis (from Amazon):
When Luke Warren is involved in a car accident which leaves him in a coma, his family are gathered together against the odds; they face an impossible dilemma.
His daughter Cara is praying for a miracle: she will fight everything and everyone to save her father’s life.
His son Edward can’t imagine that a man who once ran with wolves could ever be happy with a different life.
But Edward hasn’t spoken to Luke for six years. How can he dare to speak on his father’s behalf?
Somehow, they must choose:
Do they keep Luke alive?
Or do they let him go?

Review:
This wasn’t my favourite Picoult book and at times I found it a bit of a struggle to continue reading, however, towards the end, the pace picked up and overall, I’m glad I persevered.  This book asks those age old questions about life and death and how we cope.  We are also given a new perspective from that of the wolf and how they, as a pack, deal with very similar situations.

Throughout the book, Luke is in a coma.  We follow his story through a series of flashbacks where we learn of his experiences out in the wild, living with the wolves and his struggle to reintegrate himself back into his family.  His time with the wolves and the journey he takes to be accepted by the pack are crazy but touching at the same time.  Luke (and in turn, the reader) is taught a great many lessons from these wild animals and their way of life.  This aspect of the book, sometimes felt at odds to the on-going story, but overall was a fantastic way of giving the man in the coma his own voice.

The remainder of the book is written from the conflicting views of his two children, his ex-wife and her new husband, and a court appointed guardian.  Edward doesn’t want to see his father suffer any longer and wants to exercise his father’s wish to be an organ donor.  Cara wants her father to be given the chance to pull through and perhaps recover from his injuries.  Georgia is pulled back into the life she left a long time ago and is stuck between her two warring children.
I suppose my own personal preferences are quite obvious as, whilst I sympathised with Cara, I thought Edward was in the right.  However, I do appreciate that depending on the reader, this will change.  Picoult has written the book in such a way that both sides of the story are given equal viewing and she never leans one way or another.  This gives the reader the chance to make up their own mind.
Picoult is a master at making us ask ourselves those difficult questions.  Which way would you turn?  How would you react in this situation?  And at the same time, she writes beautifully poignant stories that tie you to the characters and ensure you stay with them every step of the way.

 

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Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

March 6th 2007 starts off like any normal day at Sterling high School, New Hampshire.  All that changes when one of its students, Peter Houghton, walks into the school armed with guns and starts shooting people.  Ten people are killed and a further nineteen are seriously injured.  Peter has been bullied and victimised at school ever since he can remember, and it seems that when it all got too much for him, he snapped.

As the community of Sterling tries to come to terms with the aftermath of the horrific event, Peter’s family question what could have made their son do something like this, and if they missed any warning signs.

I thought this was a wonderful, compelling read.  Jodi Picoult always creates entirely believable characters, and I found myself caring for these people and eager to know how their individual stories would turn out.  Although a large number of key players in the story are introduced into the story very early on, it did not get confusing, and they were all instantly distinctive, with their own stories well told.

The main characters the story focuses on are Peter and his parents; Josie Cormier – former best friend of Peter’s and now the girlfriend of Matt Royston, one of Peter’s main tormentors and also one of the casualties of the shooting; Alex Cormier, Josie’s mother and the Judge likely to be sitting on the case; Patrick Ducharme – the policeman in charge of the investigation, (who apparently also features in an earlier book by the author), and who was my personal favourite character; and Jordan McAfee and his wife Selena – Jordan has the difficulty of being defence attorney at the trial.  Each of them have their own part to play in the tale and the shooting and subsequent trial causes them all to look at their lives in a new light.

The story is told in two parts.  The first part starts with the events of the day of the shooting, and then the narratives goes backward and forward; from years beforehand when Peter was a young child, taking in several stages of his life, up until very soon before the incident; and to various times afterward, which show the wheels being set in motion for Peter’s trial, and how fellow students are coping with the tragedy.  The second part concentrates on the trial itself, with just a few very short flashbacks to the day of the incident.

Clearly this is a very sensitive subject – sadly there will be very few people who would be able to read this book without being able to recall hearing of a similar incident in real life.  Jodi Picoult does a good job of examining what might lead up to such a horrific event, and also manages to create interest in and sympathy for each character, even including Peter himself.

Certainly a very thought provoking story, which made me want to explore the subject further.  It’s quite a thick book – just shy of 600 pages – but none of the story felt superfluous, and my interest was held throughout.  Highly recommended.

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Second Glance – Jodi Picoult

ynopsis from Amazon.co.uk

When a plot of land is being developed in Vermont against the will of a local Native American tribe, strange things begin to happen – and Ross Wakeman, a paranormal investigator, is asked to get involved. He’s a desperate drifter who’s taken up ghost hunting in an effort to cross paths again with his fiancee, who died in a car crash eight years ago, but he has yet to experience anything even remotely paranormal. Then Ross meets Lia . . . As a seventy-year-old murder case is reopened, a shocking secret about a crime of passion long past is revealed.

My Review

Jodi Picoult is one of my favourite authors, but I find her books a little hit or miss sometimes. This book was definitely a hit, I thought it was a great book, and read it in 2 sittings because I just couldn’t put it down. The story is about Ross, a ghost hunter looking for the spirit of his dead fiancee, he’s basically given up on life, but then he stumbles into a situation that reminds him what living is all about. One thing I love about Picoult’s books are how she takes numerous seperate stories and somehow threads them all together in the end, and she does that well in this book. A few things were a little predictable, but it doesn’t take away from the story in any way.

The only thing that annoyed me slightly in this book, was the character that kept using big words from the dictionary that I didn’t have a clue what they meant, and I just thought it was unnecessary really, unless the aim was to have people reading the book alongside a dictionary. But other than that the book was well written, and very easy to read. I enjoyed the supernatural aspect with the ghosts, and I liked how the story flowed well, with regards to the relationships developing. This is definitely one of the better Picoult books, and may just be a close favourite to My Sister’s Keeper for me now.

5/5

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