When I was a junior in high school, I hung out in the library A LOT – during study hall if I could get a pass, and always during lunch. My friends and I would sit in the back pretending to do work, but really eating snacks and chatting about anything but school.
In books and movies, librarians are often portrayed as old crotchety women. But my high school librarian was pretty awesome. She’d always set aside books she thought I’d like, and she never kicked us out for eating and snacking in her domain.
She was the one who gave me my very first Jodi Picoult book – The Pact – about a suicide pact that tears two families apart after one of their teens is found dead and the other is on trial for murder. Pretty deep stuff for a sixteen-year-old used to reading the fluffy books of the Sarah Dessen kind. But I was hooked, and since have soaked up every novel penned by Jodi Picoult. I love how well-researched, thoughtful, and tied together they are. I can’t even pick a favorite among all 26 of her novels. The Storyteller? Small Great Things? A Spark of Light? The Pact? Leaving Time? Nineteen Minutes? Honestly, just read them all!
Title: Leaving Time
Author: Jodi Picoult )
Rating: A Shareable Read
Genre: Literary Fiction
Page Count: 416 (15 hours and 11 minutes listening time)
I’m not one to read books multiple times, so I honestly don’t know why I’ve always desired a Beauty and the Beast library. I love the look and feel of books, but usually, once I’m done, they just take up space on my shelf. I’ll reference personal development books from time-to-time, but most times, fiction is a one-and-done for me. So, when I tell you I’m on my third listen (Audible) of Leaving Time, you know it’s a must-read.
The story revolves around Jenna Metcalf, who has been missing and searching for her mother, Alice, for over a decade. After a tragic accident, she disappeared and Jenna refuses to believe her mother left by choice. The story alternates between authors (which is a style of Picoult’s that I love), including journal entries from Alice Metcalf.
Said journal entries will probably teach you more about elephants than you ever wanted to know. At first, I found them a little off-putting – elephants? One of the children I babysat ages ago loved elephants, and I never understood why; I always thought them to be big and clumsy. Wow, was I ill-informed. Elephants are so wise and clever and majestic animals. I came to love Alice’s journals because I wanted to learn more about elephant behaviors. And since Picoult’s books are so deeply researched, you know you’re getting the real-deal facts.
I can’t say too much about the story line because, as usual, nothing is what it seems, and saying too much would spoil the whole thing. What I can tell you is that it’s a story of sadness, a search for the truth, and the friends who help on the journey. A definite must-read (or listen), and a good book to pass on to someone too. My nanny read this one twice too – it’s just that good.
If you’re looking for a good book that you can read, share, and read again, you hit the jackpot. Jodi Picoult’s books are always a good option if you want a thoughtful, deeply researched, and put-together read. In Leaving Time, you’ll learn a lot about elephants, and a good amount about the love between a mother and child (which is called storage love, in case you ever need a fun fact to share at dinner parties). Saying too much would give the ending away, much like the crazy twist in a very popular thriller (movie, that is) from the late 90s.