Book Review: Leaving Time
For over a decade, Jenna Metcalf obsesses on her vanished mom Alice. Jenna searches online, rereads journals of the scientist who studied grief among elephants. Two unlikely allies are Serenity Jones, psychic for missing people who doubts her gift, and Virgil Stanhope, jaded PI who originally investigated cases of Alice and her colleague. Hard questions and answers.
Hardcover, 398 pages Published October 14th 2014 by Ballantine Books (first published 2014)
My Rating: 5
I just finished this book about four minutes ago and was so excited to write the review. As I sped through the last 50 pages or so, I found myself constantly shaking my head in surprise, looking at my husband in shock, and alternating between “What!” and “I did NOT see that coming!”
Needless to say, this one got me.
Leaving Time was my first Jodi Picoult book and let me tell you, it was long overdue. Being an avid reader my entire life, I had heard of her as an author but had never taken the time to see what she was all about. I am now already looking forward to my next read by her.
Leaving Time’s main character is Jenna Metcalf, a thirteen-year-old girl who is wise beyond her years and is a self-proclaimed old soul. Her mother disappeared under mysterious circumstances when she was three-years-old and she has obsessively been trying to find her ever since. The grandmother she lives with is no help and her father suffered a breakdown the night of the disappearance and has remained institutionalized for the past ten years. She is determined to try to find her mother, who she is convinced did not leave her, and decides she will do it all on her own.
Well, mostly on her own.
She enlists a washed-up psychic, Serenity, and an alcoholic former cop, Virgil, who was part of the team that investigated that tragic night at the Elephant Sanctuary where Jenna’s parents worked and researched. Both of them have their own secrets they are trying to cope with and all of them must work together to try to make everything make sense again.
The book is told from multiple points of view, which in no way distracts or takes away from the story. I found it extremely intriguing to hear all of their sides of the story while trying to piece together the puzzle. I enjoyed that one of the voices was Jenna’s mother, Alice, in the past. I loved the research Alice shared about elephants and it was amazing to hear all of these extraordinary things about these magnificent creatures. Picoult definitely did her share of research and it made for an even more enveloping storyline.
The twists and turns in this book are unreal, and just when you think you have it figured out and that you are the best super-sleuth there is, BOOM, something else crazy comes your way and you have to start from scratch. There is no preparing for this one, and you will want to read it again as soon as you finish.
The characters are great. The writing is great. Overall, I was completely in love with it. Trust me when I say that you will love it, too. And don’t worry, Jodi Picoult, I won’t be leaving you anytime soon.