In the wild, when a wolf knows its time is over, when it knows it is of no more use to its pack, it may sometimes choose to slip away. Dying apart from its family, it stays proud and true to its nature. Humans aren’t so lucky. Luke Warren has spent his life researching wolves. He has written about them, studied their habits intensively, and even lived with them for extended periods of time. In many ways, Luke understands wolf dynamics better than those of his own family. His wife, Georgie, has left him, finally giving up on their lonely marriage. His son, Edward, twenty-four, fled six years ago, leaving behind a shattered relationship with his father. Edward understands that some things cannot be fixed, though memories of his domineering father still inflict pain. Then comes a frantic phone call: Luke has been gravely injured in a car accident with Edward’s younger sister, Cara. Suddenly everything changes: Edward must return home to face the father he walked out on at age eighteen. He and Cara have to decide their father’s fate together. Though there’s no easy answer, questions abound: What secrets have Edward and his sister kept from each other? What hidden motives inform their need to let their father die . . . or to try to keep him alive? What would Luke himself want? How can any family member make such a decision in the face of guilt, pain, or both? And most importantly, to what extent have they all forgotten what a wolf never forgets: that each member of a pack needs the others, and that sometimes survival means sacrifice?
©2012 Jodi Picoult (P)2012 Recorded Books, LLC
I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.
Ive read all of Picoults books. Some are better than others. This one is better than average. Sort of My Sisters Keeper meets Dances With Wolves.
I dislike reviews that are, really, a synopsis of the plot but as the first reviewer I feel obligated to give a Non Spoiler brief of the story. Man with family becomes engrossed with wolves. Leaves family to fend for itself and devotes his early adulthood to research.
Wife resents, divorces wolf man. Older gay son splits for 6 years and younger daughter resents this move, gets bratty, acts out. Dad has auto accident with daughter in car and has TBI. Son has authority to make life decisions about pulling dads plug. Daughter resents.
As is typical for Picoult, each chapter is written from a different point of view, and the narrators vary in their ability. The dad, Luke, tells a good story. I didn't care for mom, Georgie, particularly. Cara and Edward, the children are pretty good.
I wasn't bothered by the change in voice from chapter to chapter as I know that's Picoults style though others may find it difficult to deal with.
It wasn't wonderful, but it was a thoughtfully written book about family situations none of us ever want to be a part of. Worth the credit but may appeal to women more than men.
Canadian girl in Kansas, love audible, books on kindle or kindle fire, and old fashioned books! I enjoy fiction most, mostly books with strong female leads. Favourite authors: Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, Pat Conroy, Andre Dubus III, Lisa Genova, many more!
The Wolf facts were fairly interesting, however this is the same Picoult formula. There is the social conundrum, the courtroom drama, the torn family, etc. This one was just more 'plain' than others have been. 'House Rules' was better. The story was slightly boring and the characters other than Luke and Edward were annoying.
I read her books every time they come out. I will probably keep reading them.
There are several narrators for the different parts. This was perfect for a Picoult book! Very nice! It's one thing to read the different parts by the different characters, but listening to the different narrators, male or female for their respective parts, adds something to the story. I loved the narration, it was impeccable.
If made into a movie- definitely Edward (Robert Pattinson) from Twilight would play Edward. No other character/actor came to my mind as strong as he did. I would put Gerard Butler with a scruffy beard for Luke maybe..but some might not agree.
If you are looking for a good read from Picoult, I would recommend 'Nineteen Minutes' or 'The Tenth Circle.' This new book is decent, but familiar and predictable. The narration however, was wonderful.
If there was a dictionary entry for "formula writing" this book could be used for the illustration. I already knew that Jodi Picoult's books all follow the same formula: a moral and/or environmental issue, family drama and then courtroom drama. This book had all of those plus some interesting information about wolves that was hopefully based on fact and research.
Even so, the plot was both preposterous and predictable. Definitely not one of her best books, not even remotely convincing on any level.
But it worked great as a "palate cleanser" between good books. As was discussed recently on the great podcast, "Books on the Night Table" -- sometimes we just need a book we have low expectations for to read after we finish a truly remarkable book to kind of cleanse the palate before tackling another really good book to avoid comparisons.
I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?
I know I'm in the minority here, but I just couldn't find anything at all to like about this book. Picoult says early in this book..???Scars are just a treasure map for pain you've buried too deep to remember.??? ......really?
I always make myself finish a book, but this one was painful right to the end; I'll check for scars. Not one of the characters were likable, not even the wolves. Oh and did I mention that the narration was annoying?
So for me this book was a huge disappointment, obviously others disagree.
I like the different narrators theme. The story, however, dragged on & on. Though the wolf trivia was interesting, it was depressing how a man could throw away his family and then listen to his kids whine for hours about how they got screwed by their father. Why would that be entertaining for anyone? I couldn't take anymore and skipped to the end.
This book has that familiar Picoult branding - moral dilemmas, family conflict over medical and legal issues, and shifting perspectives amongst the primary players. But this time Picoult brings in pack behavior, and its relationships to human family, in the form of a protagonist who has immersed himself in several wolf packs, living with them in the wild over several years, and indeed preferring the wolf-life over his flesh and blood family.There is also an unusual plot device - the main protagonist is on life support, unable to speak for himself, although we hear his story from the past. (Here is a slight homage to Hemmings' "The Descendants" where the wife is similarly on artificial life support yet is able to take her place as a main character.)
Or, to put it in general terms, sometimes my regular life seems to exist just between Jodi Picoiult books. I am giving this book five stars all around, as I think it's one of Picoult's best, on a par with "My Sister's Keeper" and "House Rules" - my two previous personal favorites. The author deals with love and loss in a very nuanced way, not at all heavy-handed, and she has much to say about the tangled web of conflicting emotion contained in what it means to be a family.
Narration was perfect on all counts. Those who've read my reviews know that I prefer calm and steady readings over dramatic ups and downs, and have a distinct aversion to the portrayal of histrionics in an audiobook. Save the crying for the movies!
I did have to laugh at two of the marginal characters' names - "Zirconia Notch", attorney for the daughter. Really? I guess the name is to indicate a hippie heritage, but the not-so-veiled reference to Franconia Notch (NH) created an out-of-context caricature. Then there is "Helen Bedd" (sp?) - hell in bed?? - just couldn't get past that one. Evidently Picoult is also a punster. There is also a generous supply of bad jokes throughout the book - something for the reader to laugh at or groan, and with which to entertain the 8-11 yr old set. (As I admit to doing.)
Anyway, to wrap this up, this book is Picoult's best, and I, as always, am waiting for the next.
Never without an audible book on my phone!
I love Jodi Picoult, but I did not like this book. I actually only made it half way through it. The basic plot was interesting, but the characters flat and dull. And, the same scene just kept repeating over and over. Maybe it could have made a good short story, but there just wasn't enough material for a full length novel. I hope Picoult's next book is up to par with all of her others.
Mary Liechty Adams
Had stopped reading this author some years ago as the topics and style became repetitive. Now, however, with her compelling story telling through the voices of her characters, Picoult has chosen a topic which applies to adults more than to children, and it is refreshing and thought provoking.
This is the typical Jodi Picoult book, about moral dilemmas & family conflict, but so much more interesting about the wolf packs. Being an animal lover, I learned so much about wolves in this book & loved it. This is my favorite Jodi Picoult book!
I really wanted to live this book, but I couldn't. It was superbly written but felt more like a shiny beatiful balloon that has a slow leek. One of the things that bothered me the most was the artistic liberties taken with facts about wolves. The performance for the most part was great. I think the story was a let down and not very believable for me.
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