Leaving Time (with bonus novella Larger Than Life): A Novel

by Jodi Picoult

Paperback, 2015

Call number

FICT PIC

Collection

Publication

Ballantine Books (2015), Edition: Reprint, 496 pages

Description

"Alice Metcalf was a devoted mother, loving wife, and accomplished scientist who studied grief among elephants. Yet it's been a decade since she disappeared under mysterious circumstances, leaving behind her small daughter, husband, and the animals to which she devoted her life. All signs point to abandonment . . . or worse. Still Jenna--now thirteen years old and truly orphaned by a father maddened by grief--steadfastly refuses to believe in her mother's desertion. So she decides to approach the two people who might still be able to help her find Alice: a disgraced psychic named Serenity Jones, and Virgil Stanhope, the cynical detective who first investigated her mother's disappearance and the death of one of her mother's co-workers. Together these three lonely souls will discover truths destined to forever change their lives. Deeply moving and suspenseful, Leaving Time is a radiant exploration of the enduring love between mothers and daughters"--… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member mmoj
I don't know when I knew what was going to happen in this story but for once it didn't bother because Picoult is that good a writer she plays are heartstrings so well you know it's not just the ending it's how the characters got to the crisis in their lives and hoe they deal with it.

In this story Jenna Metcalf needs to find out what happens to her mom, Alice. No one is helping her and so she seeks out a "washed-up" psychic, Serenity Jones and a cop turned PI, Virgil Stanhope. The story alternates between Jenna, Serenity, Virgil and Alice each giving you an insight into what their focus was. The addition of the elephant lore made the book more interesting.… (more)
LibraryThing member bwhitner
This was a very good book. Never would have guessed the ending. It's about a young girl Jenna, who is trying to find her mother. She hires a washed out psychic Serinity, and a cop who is supposed to be dead, Virgil. A lot of information on elephants. I found it to be very interesting.
LibraryThing member mmoj
I don't know when I knew what was going to happen in this story but for once it didn't bother because Picoult is that good a writer she plays are heartstrings so well you know it's not just the ending it's how the characters got to the crisis in their lives and hoe they deal with it.

In this story Jenna Metcalf needs to find out what happens to her mom, Alice. No one is helping her and so she seeks out a "washed-up" psychic, Serenity Jones and a cop turned PI, Virgil Stanhope. The story alternates between Jenna, Serenity, Virgil and Alice each giving you an insight into what their focus was. The addition of the elephant lore made the book more interesting.… (more)
LibraryThing member mmoj
I don't know when I knew what was going to happen in this story but for once it didn't bother because Picoult is that good a writer she plays are heartstrings so well you know it's not just the ending it's how the characters got to the crisis in their lives and hoe they deal with it.

In this story Jenna Metcalf needs to find out what happens to her mom, Alice. No one is helping her and so she seeks out a "washed-up" psychic, Serenity Jones and a cop turned PI, Virgil Stanhope. The story alternates between Jenna, Serenity, Virgil and Alice each giving you an insight into what their focus was. The addition of the elephant lore made the book more interesting.… (more)
LibraryThing member mmoj
I don't know when I knew what was going to happen in this story but for once it didn't bother because Picoult is that good a writer she plays are heartstrings so well you know it's not just the ending it's how the characters got to the crisis in their lives and hoe they deal with it.

In this story Jenna Metcalf needs to find out what happens to her mom, Alice. No one is helping her and so she seeks out a "washed-up" psychic, Serenity Jones and a cop turned PI, Virgil Stanhope. The story alternates between Jenna, Serenity, Virgil and Alice each giving you an insight into what their focus was. The addition of the elephant lore made the book more interesting.… (more)
LibraryThing member Susan.Macura
This is one of the most beautifully written stories I have ever read. Jenna is a teen who is searching for her mother who disappeared when she was a small child. She is hopeful that her mother is still alive. She enlists the help of a psychic and retired cop to help her sort through this mess. He dad, still alive, resides in a mental institution, so he is little help. Intertwined in this storyline is the one where her mother is introduced via her journals on observing grief in elephants, as well as stories about her life. This book takes some twists and turns near the end that makes it impossible to put down. It is simply an amazing book.… (more)
LibraryThing member thewanderingjew
The author has woven a tale whose outcome will definitely surprise the reader at the end, so don’t peek as this mystery unravels. Jenna is a precocious 13 year old searching for her mother, Alice, who disappeared years ago, when she was a baby. She engages the help of a psychic, Serenity Jones, and a broken down former cop, Virgil Stanhope, the original cop investigating the dreadful accident at the elephant sanctuary which her parents owned and which led to Alice’s disappearance and an already ill Thomas’s complete and utter breakdown.
Before her mom met and married her dad, Alice had lived in Botswana, caring for and researching elephant behavior. When her dad visited Botswana, they met and were attracted to each other. Alice soon discovered she was pregnant so she traveled to America to decide whether or not to tell Thomas, and soon after, they married. They then ran the sanctuary together with the help of other employees.
Jenna’s parents, both scientists had been devoted to working with the elephants. Her father, however, is now institutionalized, having suffered a complete break from reality. Her mother, you know, is missing. The story does not proceed in a straight line and it is sometimes confusing as it goes back and forth from the present to the past, as each character’s life is explored and exposed. The reader is tossed and turned by the events and constantly surprised by the astute revelations of the teen. She seems to be the smartest one, at times, although she sometimes behaves in a manner which is shocking as she is also disobedient and rude much of the time. She alternates between being the only adult in the room to having immature emotional reactions
After the tragedy at the sanctuary and Alice’s disappearance, Jenna wants to know for certain that her mom loved her and would never have left her baby behind, willingly. Jenna, who is portrayed as having been brought up by her grandmother whom she disobeys with abandon, is obsessed with finding her. She cannot find peace any other way.
The scientist, Alice, studied how elephants displayed grief and how they dealt with their emotional attachments to other elephants. The author presents a wealth of interesting and informative details about elephants and their way of life. Anyone who has even a remote interest in elephants will find the details fascinating. Alice, like the author, bitterly resents the mistreatment of elephants and the poaching of elephant tusks. Many of the elephants experiences described are modeled after actual elephant events.
Secrets abound in each of the character’s lives, as does a bit of the supernatural. The loose ends, however, will all tie up in the end. I can write no more without giving away the story, so relax, enjoy and read.
… (more)
LibraryThing member SteveLindahl
I count on Jodi Picoult to write books I enjoy and Leaving Timewas no exception. The last one of her books I read was The Storyteller, which is my favorite so far, but this was also a good read. I thought the elephant anecdotes were a bit overdone because many of them made the same points about these beautiful animals (that they are loving animals with long memories, a sense of family loyalty, and an ability to grieve). Also, the novel's beginning was a little slow for my taste, but once relationships were established the story drew me in.

Jodi Picoult always has believable, flawed characters in her novels. Alice, Thomas, Gideon, Nevvie, and Grace all have substantial flaws that make them interesting and so do Serenity and Virgil. Jenna also has her flaws, ones that are common among teenagers. She acts in ways that disrespect her grandmother's authority and she is impulsive. It isn't her mother she seeks as much as it is the assurance that her mother always loved her.

Serenity is a psychic who has had some problems, but has a long history of using her abilities to help police solve crimes. Jodi Picoult treated her abilities with respect, something I believe is important in any story that has a paranormal aspect.

The elephant stories are fascinating even if they are a little redundant. These animals seemed to have the traits of dogs. (Anyone who has ever loved a dog will know what a compliment that is.) I was surprised by some of the points made in the book, specifically how clueless the wildlife caretakers were concerning the reactions of elephants to the culling of their herds. But I wasn't surprised by how elephants care about each other and have very unique personalities.

Overall, this is another interesting novel from Jodi Picoult.

Steve Lindahl – author of Motherless Soul and White Horse Regressions
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LibraryThing member LivelyLady
A young girl goes looking for her mother, the elephant naturalist, whom she believed left her behind as a result of an accident. In usual Picoult style, each chapter is told from another character's voice. The research about elephants is very interesting. The turns and twists of this book are amazing with the reader unable to determine the ending until it happens. Her best!… (more)
LibraryThing member CinderH
I just loved listening to this book! The detail about the elephants and the mystery (I didn't see that coming!). I don't want to have any spoilers in my review so I don't want to say too much. I just got it from Overdrive to have something to listen to while I did housework, but the characters and story sucked me right in.… (more)
LibraryThing member LaPhenix
The turn took me a bit by surprise and lacked the emotion I'd hoped for, and I'd struggled to reconcile some of the information, but I liked the strong characters and attempt at diversity, though it fell short for me in some ways. Overall, the book was interesting and I liked the parallels.
LibraryThing member suline
I am a sucker for anything involving elephants. They are really expertly woven into the story. That is what made this book extremely readable for me. Normally, Jodi Picoult is not one of my go-to authors.
LibraryThing member busyreadin
Didn't care much for this one. It read like a treatise on the fate of the worlds elephants with a small mystery thrown in.
LibraryThing member ItsBookishMe
Really interesting read. Learned a lot about elephants, I have even more appreciation and respect for the species. At one point I guessed at the twist when a particular scene kind of gave it away but then another twist made me change my mind. In the end my original guess was correct but it was even more than I thought. The narration gave the journey through this book a in pursuit of the truth kind of momentum for me. I felt like an investigator trying to get it all figured out and that is what made it such a very intriguing read for me.… (more)
LibraryThing member Dianekeenoy
Wonderful on audio! I read this book when it came out and loved it because it had a lot to do with elephants which my mother loved. To listen to it on audio was just incredible. I can't recommend this enough!
LibraryThing member tinkerbellkk
I thought this was a fantastic read. So interesting to learn about elephants and their habits. The characters were terrific and made an unlikely team. This was a different style of book from the author's usual court case type books and I loved feeling like a detective trying to put together the pieces. The twist at the end was a huge surprise for me and made it overall a wonderful read. Highly recommended.… (more)
LibraryThing member rsalley76
I hated this book but loved every minute of it! I was so duped by the twist. I mean, I knew there was SOMETHING, but not all of THAT! It was an amazing read that I never wanted to put down and was so disappointed that it was over. Piccoult never fails to keep me literally engrossed with every turn of the page.
LibraryThing member startwithgivens
In terms of character secrets and plot twists, this book is so characteristic Jodi Picoult. However, in terms of development and types of characters this book was not what I would have expected. I found this book riveting. I was unable to put it down, at first because I really really love elephants, and later because I really needed to know what happened to the people who cared for them so much. There were elements of the ending that I saw coming at various points of the book, but I was never convinced until the end. And remarkably, as many Jodi Picoult books as I have read, there was still one part of the ending I never would have guessed in a million years.… (more)
LibraryThing member sprainedbrain
This book was recommended to me by a friend... after skimming the reviews, I was not sure what I was getting in to, but I started reading anyway. I am so glad that I ignored the bad reviews. This book was surprising, fast-paced, and rich with interesting little stories-within-the-story. There was nothing predictable about it, and characters are beautifully developed. Leaving Time is well worth the read.… (more)
LibraryThing member shannon.dolgos
Jenna's mother disappeared after a terrible accident at the Elephant Sanctuary ten years ago. And for ten years, young Jenna has searched the internet seeking. Is her mother dead? Is she alive? And, if so, why did she leave her behind?

Jenna's father has been in an institution all this time, so Jenna is living with her grandmother, who is afraid of the answers Jenna seeks.

Jenna finds the most unlikely allies to help her find her answers. Virgil, the detective who was on the case the night Alice disappeared, and a psychic, who lost her powers to see years ago...

Their adventure, and unlikely friendship takes them on a journey from NH to TN and back again...and the most unlikely answers are revealed...
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Pages

496

ISBN

0345544943 / 9780345544940

Lexile

870L
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