Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
Picoult has, once again, written a captivating and heart-wrenching piece that manages to grip the audience in their seats (or airplane seats and warm, comfortable beds in my case) and amaze everyone with her flawless writing. And, of course it wouldn’t be a true Picoult novel without the wicked twist that astounds us all and leaves us with our mouths open, and our fingers desperately flicking back the pages, our minds asking ourselves over and over ‘but how? How did I miss the clues?!’ This novel, which is her latest accomplishment and tallies her a total of 23 published masterpieces, is one of my particular favourites for many reasons. However this book touched my heart for one particular reason. Picoult demonstrates again to us all her studious background research and dedication in providing her audience with an authentic story that is not all pure fiction. For this book, Picoult spent countless hours researching elephants. Yes you heard me, elephants. And she opened my eyes to how truly understated these animals are in our world, and how closely they resemble many human traits. Due to my love hate relationship with flying, I waited until I was some 30,000 feet above sea level before delving into this ridiculously addictive novel. However, my flight path was leading me directly to Thailand, a place where many people experience an up close and personal meet and greet with these gentile giants, something (I now shamefully admit after the completion of Picoult’s Leaving Time) I was planning on doing while visiting Bangkok and surrounds. However, I was amazed when I read some absolutely astounding stories regarding the treatments of elephants, and how the old saying ‘an elephant never forgets’ is, in actual fact, a very true and relevant dictum. Even more astounding was when I discovered these stories, which are extremely in-depth, are true stories that were shared to her from Elephant Sanctuaries. These Sanctuaries offer care, rehabilitation and a safe place from abuse they may have suffered while living disturbingly horrific lives. And believe me, once you read this book, which I believe any person who is even remotely passionate about animals should endeavor to do, you will be supporting the end of all attractions which promote up close and personal visitations with any wild by nature animal.
Upon my arrival in the Bangkok airport where I met my boyfriend, who I had not seen in over two months, I was bleating anyone’s ear off about the emotions of elephants and the mistreatment they receive in public visitation attractions, and I had not even managed to read halfway through the novel! However, despite some serious jetlag, and my boyfriend complaining continuously that I had much better things to do while in a foreign country with the love of my life who had been physically absent for two months, I spent my first full afternoon and night desperately reading until I had reached the end of Leaving Time. This is one book that managed to keep me fully involved, hook, line and sinker! It was so intense and captivating that even a foreign country and an extremely good lookingly handsome (yes I just created a word, which I will probably continue to use) French boyfriend (more on my amazingly romantic and storybook love life another time!) could not even tear me aware from the best book of the year so far! I personally dislike any person who ruins even one small part of any novel, so I will not offer more then what I have already said! It is a ‘must read’, and anyone who is as passionately obsessed with Jodi Picoult as I am will agree that this is one of her finest. I rate it five positive lemons out of five! What are you waiting for, get reading!