Posts Tagged With: 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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My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

What a lovely book. Another Jodi Picoult book, My Sister’s Keeper was not a let down at all.

Amazon synopsis:

“A major decision about me is being made, and no ones bothered to ask the one person who most deserves it to speak her opinion.” The only reason Anna was born was to donate her cord blood cells to her older sister. And though Anna is not sick, she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since she was a child. Anna was born for this purpose, her parents tell her, which is why they love her even more. But now that she has reached an age of physical awareness, she can’t help but long for control over her own body and respite from the constant flow of her own blood seeping into her sister’s veins. And so she makes a decision that for most would be too difficult to bear, at any time and at any age. She decides to sue her parents for the rights to her own body.

I had read a few reviews that stated the reader’s did not enjoy this book, or did not like the ending, but for me, I was not let down at all. This is another tough issue thatPicoult has chosen to write about, and again, she has had success.

The story follows the Fitzgerald family. Jesse has gone off the rails, Kate has leukaemia and Anna was a “designer baby” created to help Kate.Controversial topics are discussed, from being an organ donor, to parents making medical decisions for their children to acting out by arson. Picoult discusses these issues so well and sensitively, I don’t think anyone could fault her.

In terms of her medical knowledge, Picoult seems to have read up and properly researched the issue of leukaemia in different forms and was not afraid to use medical language confidently. I know very little about the disease but what was written I was able to follow.

The ending was incredibly sad, but I liked it. I think it fitted with the story perfectly. I did not guess it at all, and there were other twists in the book that although I tried to guess, I didn’t get right, and again, I was not disappointed with them. I felt they just added and enhanced the story.

My favourite character was probably Jesse, the eldest child who went off the rails. I felt I connected with him to a certain level, but that might have been because we both like fire – although him more than me – and sometimes we both just feel invisible. His acting out was for attention and his sister’s illness broke him, and that really moved me.

I recommend this book strongly.

8/10

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