Book Review: Lone Wolf, Jodi Picoult

I know I should refuse, make a clean break. Start driving back to the airport and book the first flight to Bangkok. But my head feels like it’s filled with flies, and regret tastes like almonds on the roof of my mouth.

Lone Wolf

My best friend knows me well: as part of my thirtieth (I know don’t, thanks for saying!) birthday present, she subscribed me to Foster’s Little Bookshop who sent me a ‘blind date’ selection of four second-hand books. They came, each individually wrapped in brown paper with their genres stamped on the front as a little teaser of what was inside. I received ‘Cosy,’ ‘Romance,’ ‘Feel Good’ and ‘Chick Lit.’  

I decided to open Cosy first and found inside Jodi Picoult’s Lone Wolf – a book I never would have picked up off the shelf (also, cosy, wolves?) and even though I’ve heard of Jodi Picoult, and know she is a well-loved, very well-read author, I’ve never read her books because I always assumed they would be a bit too, well, soppy. I could not have been more wrong! This book was packed with tension and drama. It had me reading late into the night to find out more about the family at the heart of the story but also to learn more about wolves.

Lone Wolf opens with a car accident: Luke and his daughter, Cara, are found after hitting a tree – Cara has suffered broken bones that require surgery but Luke is now in coma that he is unlikely to wake up from. His son, Edward, is asked to return home from Thailand where he has been living for the past six years, and his ex-wife, Georgie, is summoned to the hospital. As Cara is only seventeen, it is up to Edward to make the final decision about Luke’s life support. Cara is desperate to keep her father alive and give him the chance to wake up; Edward believes that his father would want to be let go.

Each new chapter changes which character’s point of view, and so we see things through Cara, Edward, Georgie and, later, Georgie’s husband Joe’s eyes, as they come to terms with what has happened to Luke. We also uncover the secrets within the family, including why Edward left in the middle of the night to go to Thailand.

Threading in between their chapters is Luke’s narrative. To say that Luke works with wolves would be an understatement, he lives, breathes and eats with them, even choosing to leave his family for two years to track a wild pack in the Canadian wilderness to see if they would accept him. The book contains some really interesting information about wolves – I even think that Jodi Picoult avoided the ‘wedged’ in feeling you sometimes get when an author has really well researched a topic and wants to get every detail in. The chapters from Luke felt natural and they added a grit and real bloodiness to the story.

So, I am converted and I would recommend this book to people wanting to get lost in the wilderness of Canadian forests.

I would also recommend Foster’s Little Bookshop. I haven’t looked to see how much this bundle would have cost my friend, but I love the idea behind it. I wonder what journey this book has been on to get to me: what hands it has passed through before mine (how many? did they enjoy it as much as I did?) I love the idea that it went to Foster’s who wrapped it, stamped it, and posted it to me to enjoy.

So, where is Lone Wolf journeying on to now? It’s going to my friend to keep passing on the story of Luke, his wolves and his family.

Published by luggageandscribble

Oh hey, just a girl who loves reading.

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