#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A deeply moving, gripping, and intelligent page-turner about a daughter’s search for her mother, Leaving Time is Jodi Picoult at the height of her powers.
Includes the novella Larger Than Life
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 Leaving Time, she has delivered 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.
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
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 humor. You’ll be moved by the facts about a beloved animal species and mesmerized 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.
An incredible book!
I recommend reading the novella that comes with this first and then the book. The story is superbly crafted, you will learn a lot, and want to turn the pages faster!
You will find yourself emotionally invested and a true twist will surprise you. LOVED this book!
Not only an incredibly well researched story about the awesome elephant, but a captivating read. Enjoy the characters and the twists. Almost wish I hadn’t read it so I could read it again for the first time!
Well, I probably shouldn’t have read this novel. I knew from the psychic alone, this wasn’t my kind of book. But I really like Picoult’s writing, so I hoped for the best. Like I mentioned, I’m not the intended audience for this kind of book because of the psychic stuff, but what’s weird is that didn’t bug me. The 13-year-old kid who somehow knows who Punch and Judy is annoyed me, the completely predictable plot annoyed me, writing that mentally ill people will inevitably become violent was annoying, and writing stereotypical characters annoyed me. Okay, so I hate when authors write kids. The kid is usually wayyyy too insightful or to knowledgeable or both, so the author tries to brush off this lazy writing by saying how the kid is precocious. Gah! The PI is so stereotypically popping Tums and a drunk that it’s frustrating. And there were enough clues to understand the “twist” in the first 30 pages. But worst of all there was the stereotyping of the mentally ill as violent. I can forgive a lot of things, but I don’t think I will for that. You might be wondering why I didn’t give this only one star: the writing is very pretty. The similes were beautiful and I appreciated the elephant research. All the same, I might not read from Picoult again.