I “read” Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult by listening to it in the car on my 30-minute commute (one-way) to the college I teach at.
The book has a couple plots that are woven together, but tell parts of a common storyline. One voice is the 13-year-old Jenna, who is trying to find out what happened to her mother, Alice, who is another voice in the book. Two other (minor) voices are Virgil and Serenity, the detective and psychic Jenna hires to help her find her mother – dead or alive.
The backdrop for the book is an elephant sanctuary, where Alice went missing from when Jenna was just 3 years old. There was a constant sub-story (for lack of a better word) woven into the book about Alice’s academic work on elephant behaviour, especially how they form relationships and grieve the loss of family members.
The elephant research aspect was very interesting – in both a scientific way and how it added to the plot line. However, one downside is that it tends to make the reader empathize more with the elephants, but perhaps that was the point?
I very much enjoyed reading this book, but the big “twist” at the end of the book got a little too out there for me and I think it could have focused more on reality rather than a paranormal explanation.
I give this book a 3.5/5.