Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
Published by Hodder & Stoughton
4th November 2014
Over ten years have passed, and still Jenna reads and rereads her mother's journals, hoping to find some clue hidden there, in the meticulous recording of her scientific research with elephants.
Desperate for answers, Jenna uses all her savings to recruit the aid of a private detective - and a psychic.
Jenna knows her mother loved her. She knows she would not leave her. And she will not rest until she finds out what happened that night. In her most gripping mystery since House Rules, Jodi Picoult brings us a powerful story of a young girl's determination to uncover the truth, however shocking and life-changing it might be.
It's been a few years since I last read a Jodi Picoult book. I have everything she has written; I just haven't actually read them all - yet! Anyway, last month saw the release of another novel, and I thought, this time I'm not just going to buy it, but read it too! And so I did!
Leaving Time is principally about elephants. There is a story about people in amongst the pages too, but elephants dominate this book. There were times when I sort of thought that Jodi Picoult was trying to make sure she mentioned everything about elephants that she had researched but stick with it, and the elephants then become the background when you get to the final chapters.
If you have never read a Jodi Picoult book before (and if you haven't, I recommend starting with My Sister's Keeper - the book, not the film) you won't be aware that there is always a twist to her stories. I won't put spoilers out here, but you get to the final few chapters, and wham, bam, she puts in a twist that you didn't see and you are like, "Oh my goodness, what just happened here". The same is for Leaving Time. I knew there was a twist even before I got the book, because Twitter was going crazy and everyone was saying "I didn't see that coming", so on reading I thought, I know what it's going to be... and then, bam, it was all revealed and I was left thinking "nope, didn't see that coming!"
The story is thus, Jenna's mother disappeared when she was three years old. She hasn't been seen or heard from in ten years. Her father suffered a breakdown and is now in an institution, so Jenna lives with her grandmother, and the story of her mother's disappearance is strictly taboo. However, Jenna has been saving up, and is determined to find out the truth, whatever it might be. She hires Serenity, a once-famous psychic to find out more about the day her mother disappeared. Alongside this, she tracks down the former detective who worked on the case, a now sad and lonely alcoholic. But can a teenage girl, drunk detective and a psychic who has lost her abilities honestly find out what happened to Alice Metcalf?
If you can wade through the bits on elephant relationships, (which don't get me wrong are interesting, just drawn out), then this is a great read. It had me hooked, and I read it in a couple of days. In my opinion, Jodi Picoult hasn't lost her touch.
Miss Chapter x