Oh, Jodi Picoult… I don’t have favorites, but you are at the top of my list when I think of amazing authors. To take a novel and make a person think so deeply about real life situations, right and wrong, ethics and values, and life or death… that’s something beyond special, and it’s completely enrapturing.
I’ve read most of Picoult’s work, and eagerly look to the next new novel, so I bought Lone Wolf shortly after it came out, which has been a few years now. But, I never got around to reading it. I just kept it stashed in my purse, or by my bed, as the back-up book for whenever I didn’t have something to read and was in need. Being in the current transition of moving out of my apartment, I’ve been too afraid to take a book out of the library. I don’t want to lose a book in the shuffle. So it seemed like the perfect time to actually crack the spine of Lone Wolf.
Now, here’s where I’m going to deviate from the system here. I’m only 50 pages in, but I’m not going to review on anything further than those 50 pages, and here’s why. I am not but 50 pages in, and I’m already having some serious ‘deep conversion’ in my head. THAT is what impresses the hello out of me when I say that Picoult is an amazing author.
So here’s the summary as of those 50 pages. We meet Luke, a man who lives, eats, and sleeps wolves. He has a teenage daughter, named Cara, who has lived with her dad and doesn’t seem to mind his eccentric parenting methods. Luke’s ex-wife, Georgie, has moved on to a new husband and twins, but ends up rusing back into his and Cara’s life when the hospital calls about the car accident they were in. She’s immediately concerned about Cara, and blaming Luke for everything, until she learns that Luke was in the accident and worse off than Cara. Because she’s the ex-wife, she isn’t privy to next-of-kin information, so she immediately calls her son, Edward, Clara’s older brother, who moved to Thailand to get away from the family problems. It’s the typical “broken family bonding due to family tragedy” scenario, but it works like a charm to lure in the reader.
Picoult uses multiple points of view separated as chapters per person to get into each character’s thoughts, and this aids the reader in keeping track of them. In “Lone Wolf”, I was immediately drawn into the comparisons of human vs. animal nature and nurture. As an animal person who has make it a passion to study and learn animal behavior, I find the parallels of the wolf pack behavior to human behavior fascinating. Picoult uses Luke’s point of view for this, and I’m really interested to see where she takes it as I read further.
I also want to point out a piece from Edward’s point of view that make my brain fire up:
“Mistakes are like the memories you hid in an attic: old love letters from relationships that tanked, photos of dead relatives, toys from a childhood you miss. Out of sight is out of mind, but somewhere deep inside you know they still exist. And you also know that you’re avoiding them.” (pg. 57, Picoult)
This resonated with me. I’m a perfectionist, I hate making mistakes, and as quickly as I learn from them, I stash that memory away and don’t want to reflect on them once I’m past it. And of course I’m an over thinker so I went through about 10 scenarios that fit that quote. It’s only just a part of Edwards stream of thought, but it made me, as the reader, think about the way my own conscious thoughts roll.
All of this, from 50 (or so) pages into this book. Now, I don’t know how it’s going to end, but all I’m saying is that there is always something at the end of a Picoult book that blindsides me, and I’m eager to find out what it is. And, I highly suggest you check out some of her other works.