Leaving Time: A Novel
by Jodi Picoult
Paperback- $9.82

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A deeply moving, gripping, and intelligent page-turner about a daughter’s search for her ...

Overall rating:


How would you rate this book?

Member ratings

  "A story that encompasses love in both the human and elephant world!" by thewanderingjew (see profile) 05/01/15

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.

  "" by lucydog (see profile) 09/26/15

  "The BEST!" by jsmorey (see profile) 10/20/15

I don't want to say too much and spoil it. Suffice it to say it's one of the best books I've read in our book club. ENJOY!

  "" by Glennas (see profile) 10/20/15

I've read all of Jodi Picoult's books and this has been my least favorite one. Although I always enjoy her books, all of the in depth talk of elephants was a little too much for me. I gave it 3 stars because it was an ok book. I did keep reading it because I wanted to see how everything came together, and I was completely surprised. Her books always have that twist! However, I don't think it's good enough for a 'must read' book choice.

  "Picoult is the master of plot twists" by PEP2312 (see profile) 11/19/15

jody Picoult has a unique ability to educate, shock, and touch her readers. If you haven't read a Picoult book since she explored various teenage issues, then you are in for a treat. Picoult's research regarding elephants and their memories and intelligence is engaging and the storyline of a young girl in search of her missing mother will keep you turning the pages.

  "" by junegillis (see profile) 02/09/16

  "" by ahsingh2005 (see profile) 02/17/16

  "I laughed, I cried, I was moved" by Harbor Island (see profile) 05/20/16

Our book club really enjoyed this book. The twist and turns kept our attention. Thank you Jodi Picoult, you hit another home run!

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/25/16

  "Leaving Time" by Daisy1999 (see profile) 06/09/16

Well worth reading.....and then read it again.

  "" by lovebooks58 (see profile) 06/09/16

  "" by mblindsay (see profile) 06/11/16

  "" by 4genoha (see profile) 07/14/16

  "" by Sherrit (see profile) 07/14/16

  "Leaving Time" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/27/16

Best book I've read in a long time. Lots to talk about.
I did feel cheated when several characters turned out to be ghosts/spirits, not live beings. I thought this was a device used by the author to cover for unresolved issues.

  "Leaving Time" by pkfabara (see profile) 08/27/16

Engaging characters, including the elephants. A mystery with a very surprising ending.

  "Leaving Time" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/07/16

Our club enjoyed the book until finding out the dramatic twist that totally changes the outcome of the novel! Not many saw it coming, and most were disappointed. However, the book is well written and is entertaining and informative.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/17/17

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/17/17

  "LEAVING TIME" by CaroleMcwilson (see profile) 11/21/17

Although the book started out really slow, if you stick with it, it will grab you. Great characters, including the elephants. LOVED the twist at the end -- and didn't see it coming at all!

  "" by abriedi (see profile) 01/01/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/11/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/06/18

Gave me chills !!

  "" by peckhauser (see profile) 03/23/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 04/16/18

  "" by Emilyevogt (see profile) 05/26/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/02/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/20/18

  "not what I expected" by LSakay (see profile) 12/01/18

I appreciate the research Jodi Picoult puts into her books. Part of what grabs me from her novels is the detailed, accurate information she imparts as she doles out her plot and story. Although, I am sure she did the same for this novel, it was buried by all the facts and details she learned and shared about elephants' behavior. The extensive amount of animal science included was unnecessary. It quickly became droll and contributed to the slow, slow moving recounting of young Jenna's efforts as she searched for her mother. I liked hearing Alice's perspective, as it answered suspicions of her decisions, actions, and thoughts prior to her disappearance but, again, the incessant sharing of her journaling of elephant research and observation was overkill. The narrator playing Alice in the audiobook was also a bit monotone too which only served to further bore me.
The book finally did pick up speed 3/4 of the way through the book. I kept trudging to get to this point because I did want to know what happened; it had good "bones". Picoult's reverse Sixth Sense surprised me and I did love that; definitely an unexpected ending. Unfortunately, the
excessive elephant banter prevalent through the majority of the book distracted from the intriguing plot and made it a 3 star read for me.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/09/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/05/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 06/07/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/31/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/21/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/06/23

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/07/23

Remember me

Now serving over 80,000 book clubs & ready to welcome yours. Join us and get the Top Book Club Picks of 2022 (so far).



Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...