15 reviews

Leaving Time: A Novel
by Jodi Picoult

Published: 2014-10-14
Hardcover : 416 pages
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60 clubs reading this now
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Recommended to book clubs by 14 of 15 members

Throughout her blockbuster career, 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 ...
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Throughout her blockbuster career, 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 novel, she has delivered her most affecting work yet—a book 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 she was abandoned, 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: Serenity Jones, a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons, only to later doubt her gifts, and Virgil Stanhope, the jaded private detective who’d 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.

Praise for Leaving Time
“Piercing and uplifting . . . a smart, accessible yarn with a suspenseful puzzle at its core.”The Boston Globe
“Poignant . . . an entertaining tale about parental love, friendship, loss.”The Washington Post
“A riveting drama.”Us Weekly
“[A] moving tale.”People
“A fast-paced, surprise-ending mystery.”USA Today
“In Jenna, [Jodi] Picoult has created an unforgettable character who will easily endear herself to each and every reader. . . . Leaving Time may be her finest work yet.”Bookreporter
“[A] captivating and emotional story.”BookPage
“With plenty of twists and a surprising ending, [Leaving Time] explores the grieving process and what happens when we cannot move on.”Woman’s Day
“A moving and emotional story.”Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“A truly engaging read . . . Full of the deep characters and multilayered story lines that have earned [Picoult] a spot in many readers’ hearts.”Library Journal
“Delivers a powerhouse ending.”Booklist
“Memorable and poignant.”Publishers Weekly

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2014: Jodi Picoultâ??s Leaving Time weaves elephant behavior into a search for a missing mother. The connection isn't as odd as it might sound at first, and Picoult has written another page-turning novel, even as it focuses on motherhood, loss, and grief. Teenager Jenna Metcalf was just three years old when her mother disappeared from an elephant sanctuary. Ten years later, she takes up the search for her mother, Alice, by studying Aliceâ??s decade-old journals on grieving elephants. The research itself is fascinating, the hints about Aliceâ??s disappearance are compelling; but Jenna cannot find her mother on her own. By enlisting the help of a formerly famousâ??now infamousâ??psychic, as well as a down-and-out private detective whose career went south during the botched investigation of Alice's disappearance, Jenna forms a sort of new family to help her in her quest. As the facts begin to come togetherâ??described in alternating chapters by Jenna, the psychic, the private detective, and Aliceâ??s journalsâ??it all heads toward a thrilling conclusion. And, yes, there is a big twist at the end. â?? Chris Schluep


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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Did you know Alice's whereabouts before it was revealed?
by lizblair (see profile) 11/20/21

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by jean s. (see profile) 03/15/23

  "Leaving Time is hard to put down "by Liz B. (see profile) 11/20/21

Picoult is a good writer, no doubt about it. The mystery of Alice's whereabouts and the stories of the elephants weave together seamlessly to keep you curious. Such love of community.

  "Leaving Time"by Dorothy L. (see profile) 07/15/15

There is a lot of good information on elephants. I am not into dead people walking around.

  "Surprising!"by Kristi F. (see profile) 05/21/15

This is a very different book from Ms. Piccoult's previous novels, that being said, I still really liked it. I've learned a lot about elephants much in the same way I learned about loggerhead turtles in... (read more)

by Tracy M. (see profile) 05/01/15

The entire book club agreed that this was a great book. Nobody guessed the twist and we all loved the character development.

  "Leaving Time"by Pat S. (see profile) 04/30/15

Love that the book was very informative about the elephants and also told a story. The twist at the end was great. I never saw it coming. Gave the book to a friend to read already.

  "Leaving Time "by valerie g. (see profile) 04/30/15

When I finished Leaving Time I felt like I was leaving family members behind. Loved it, my book club loved it. Five stars. Jodi Picoult did not disappoint her fans. Who does not love Jodi's story endings?... (read more)

by Joanne M. (see profile) 04/30/15

by Debbie B. (see profile) 04/30/15

  "Leaving Time"by Debra F. (see profile) 04/13/15

I have always loved animals and knew a bit about elephants, but my heart is changed forever after reading this book. Ms. Picoult researches her subjects well so not only did I experience a great read filled... (read more)

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