Should you read it? If you are Jodi Picoult fan, it is similar to some of the recent books but I think Jodi had other things on her mind when she was writing. It's sort-of autopilot writing. In writing this book, I wonder if she felt how I feel as a mother when I'm trying to solve a problem for one of my children and I go through the motions with every other facet of my life until I have this problem solved. If you have never picked up Jodi Picoult and want to, I would look for some of other earlier books: My Sister's Keeper, Nineteen Minutes and Plain Truth being my very favorite.
What's it about? A family story told by four members: Luke, Georgie, Edward and Cara. Luke is a Steve Irwin type but instead of crocodiles, it's wolves. Georgie is his ex, mother of his children Edward and Cara. Edward is the oldest, prodigal son (gay) and Cara is the wise-beyond-her years teenage daughter. Luke and Cara are in a horrific car accident that leaves Luke in a coma. Edward, the only heir that is of an age of majority is called home to make decisions for his father. Georgie, remarried with adorable little twins, who even though she insists she hasn't, has left her old life behind. Cara, 17, has lived with her father for the last 4 years and has been taking care of him as he's too preoccupied with his wolves to pay bills and buy groceries. So what happens when this group of 3 disagree about life-terminating decisions for Luke? They go to court. Who defends Edward? Why, of course, Joe, Georgie's new husband. Why does Georgie allow this? I guess she is truly not interested in those older kids. Why does the court system allow this? Never addressed.
Well? It's the usual Jodi Picoult but it lacks the zip, vigor and "straight from the headlines" plot with a twist at the end. Is Picoult tired of this format? Is she tired of writing? Has she just become completely lost in the persona of Jodi Picoult the author? I think yes to all. It's a straight up miss.
My Usual Complaint? The teenager who has the wisdom of Solomon. When most teenagers think like, "Why does everyone hate me?" Cara, the precocious thinks like:
I wonder if what makes a family a family isn't doing everything right all the time but, instead, giving a second chance to the people you love who do things wrong.
Home is the place where you know where the silverware lives, where the cups hide, where the clean plates go.
I think Picoult gives her teenage characters some sort of omniscience that just does not ring true. It's purpose, I suppose, is to move the plot along, but I'm just not keen on it.
Why do I Keep Reviewing Buying and Reviewing Picoult? Up to this point, for as many complaints that I have had, she has done an equally good job of surprising me and giving me some food for thought. I like that in an author. Now, this time, not so much on surprise and not too much food; a little, but certainly not a feast.
So It Remains To Be Seen... Is this just the end of a format that Picoult has been using for her last several books? Has it run its course? I would hate to think that Picoult is all done writing. She still has a wonderful way with words. I want to see more. I am all done with this format, however, and I hope she is too.
My Favorite Parts of the Book: The times when Luke was with the wild wolves. There were times when I was convinced I was going to go find my own wolf pack. If you are curious about wolves, this book was quite educational about pack life.
People assume that the reason I walked away from the pack that day was because the harsh conditions had finally become overwhelming-- the weather, the cold, the near starvation, the constant threat of predators. But the real reason I came back is much simpler.
If I hadn't left at that moment, I knew I would have stayed forever.