Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Book Review: Lone Wolf
I just finished reading Jodi Picoult's newest novel, Lone Wolf, and it was quite different than her others.
Here is a summary, taken from the author’s website:
Edward Warren, 23, has been living in Thailand for five years, a prodigal son who left his family after an irreparable fight with his father, Luke. But he gets a frantic phone call: His dad lies comatose in a NH hospital, gravely injured in the same accident that has also injured his younger sister Cara.
Cara, 17, still holds a grudge against her brother, since his departure led to her parents’ divorce. In the aftermath, she’s lived with her father – an animal conservationist who became famous after living with a wild wolf pack in the Canadian wild. It is impossible for her to reconcile the still, broken man in the hospital bed with her vibrant, dynamic father.
With Luke’s chances for recovery dwindling, Cara wants to wait for a miracle. But Edward wants to terminate life support and donate his father’s organs. Is he motivated by altruism, or revenge? And to what lengths will his sister go to stop him from making an irrevocable decision?
LONE WOLF looks at the intersection between medical science and moral choices. If we can keep people who have no hope for recovery alive artificially, should they also be allowed to die artificially? Does the potential to save someone else’s life with a donated organ balance the act of hastening another’s death? And finally, when a father’s life hangs in the balance, which sibling should get to decide his fate?
My thoughts, after the jump:
First of all, Jodi Picoult has earned her reputation - whatever she puts out, I will read (and sometimes purchase). I really like her stories, and I like that the topics are so different from one another, but the all surround a common thread – families, and what it means to be in one. To that end, this book was no different.
What was different however, was the amount of pages spent on descriptions of wolves. I gotta admit, I’m not an animal person, and I found those a little trying to get through. Those selections absolutely meshed with what was going on in the main plotline (Edward discussing why he left to go to Thailand being juxtaposed against a page about why wolves sometimes leave their packs), but that didn’t make it any easier for me to get through.
You know how sometimes books really suck you in, and from the first few pages you know, “dang, I’m going to be up late tonight because I just can’t put this down?” Most (all?) of Jodi Picoult’s other books did that for me, but this one really didn’t.
Until the last 80 pages.
For me, the last 80 pages made the book, and transformed it in to the kind of page-turner that the author’s known for – where you literally can’t read fast enough.
I won’t say much more about the last 80 pages, because my cousinfriend and fellow blogger is also reading this right now and I don’t want to ruin it for her. But I will say this: just like with all of Jodi Picoult’s novels, have your tissues handy. And be ready for an excellent twist.