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 strange, possibly linked death of one of her mother's coworkers.
Together these three lonely souls will discover truths destined to forever change their lives. Deeply moving and suspenseful, Jodi Picoult's 21st novel is a radiant exploration of the enduring love between mothers and daughters.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Elephants loom large in the terrifically entertaining new novel by bestselling American author Jodi Picoult. Twelve-year-old Jenna Metcalf can’t stop searching for her mother, even though naturalist Alice Metcalf disappeared from the elephant sanctuary she helped create 10 years ago. In Leaving Time’s fast-paced first act, Jenna enlists the help of a disgraced psychic and a disheveled private detective to help track down clues to Alice’s dramatic vanishing act. Shifting between her characters’ first-person perspectives, Picoult demonstrates her talent for psychological insight and relatable humour. You’ll be moved by the facts about a beloved animal species and mesmerised by the story’s twists and turns.
Picoult's (The Storyteller) novel explores grief, memory, and motherhood through the unlikely lens of elephant behavior. Jenna Metcalf was three years old when her mother, Alice, disappeared from the elephant sanctuary where she worked as a researcher. Ten years later, Jenna is ready to launch a search. After poring over her mother's research journals, consulting the Internet, and visiting her father in the mental institution where he's been since shortly after the disappearance, she enlists outside assistance from Serenity Jones, a once-famous psychic whose gift appears to have deserted her, and Virgil Stanhope, the gruff, alcoholic ex-police detective who was once assigned to Alice's case. With their help, Jenna finds new evidence at the now-closed sanctuary and begins to piece together the events of the night her mother disappeared, leading her to a few uncomfortable truths about the past, but bringing much-needed closure to her and her dad. Longtime fans of Picoult will recognize some of her stock characters the precocious, sassy teenager; the distant, philosophical mother; the curmudgeonly surrogate father figure as well the her trademark twist ending, which may well be her strangest to date. When she diverges from her usual formula her storytelling skills are most evident. The pachyderms are as complex as the humans, making the journey memorable and poignant.
Interesting book. Couldn't read the ending fast enough as everything was falling into place.
Beautiful emotional read!
Beautiful book, I couldn’t put it down towards the end. Highlighting the bond between mother and daughter, there were a lot of tears!
Being a fan of Jodi Picoults work for years I have stayed so because of how she continues to change her style and keep each book so enchanting, exciting and full of surprises. This was a book I couldn’t put down, and was hit like a truck by its twists and surprises and was left crying and smiling at the end.