January 25, 2016
Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
2014 Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Read by Rebecca Lowman, Abigail Revasch, Kathe Mazur, and Mark Deakins
Finished on July 15, 2015
Rating: 4.5/5 (Very Good!)
A mother's love.
A daughter's search for truth.
A mystery that will not rest…
Throughout her blockbuster career, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult has seamlessly blended nuanced characters, riveting plots, and rich prose, brilliantly creating stories that "not only provoke the mind but touch the flawed souls in all of us" (The Boston Globe). Now, in her highly anticipated new book, she has delivered her most affecting novel yet—and one unlike anything she's written before.
For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe that she would be abandoned as a young child, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice's old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother's whereabouts.
Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest. The first is Serenity Jones, a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons—only to later doubt her gifts. The second is Virgil Stanhope, a jaded private detective who originally investigated Alice's case along with the strange, possibly linked death of one of her colleagues. As the three work together to uncover what happened to Alice, they realize that in asking hard questions, they'll have to face even harder answers.
As Jenna's memories dovetail with the events in her mother's journals, the story races to a mesmerizing finish. A deeply moving, gripping, and intelligent page-turner, Leaving Time is Jodi Picoult at the height of her powers.
It's been a while since I've read a book by Picoult, and even though I started to figure out the surprise ending before it was revealed, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audiobook! I'd love to go back and re-read the book from the very beginning to see what clues I might have missed.
One minor quibble: The three readers were all very good, although I do wish they read their individual parts even during the alternating chapters (which are told by one of the other two characters). It was a bit jarring to listening to one reader use a different voice for one of the characters after getting used to that particular character's voice.
I loved this book! Picoult is a consummate storyteller and I've yet to be disappointed by any of her novels. Leaving Time is thought-provoking and one to read more than once and share with friends. It would make for a great book club discussion, too.
Go here to watch a National Geographic interview with the author.