Lone Wolf

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Lone Wolf , Jodi Picoult, book reviewJodi Picoult is one of my favourite authors as her novels always challenge and provoke whilst tackling controversial topics. In her latest book, Lone Wolf, she prompts one to think about the sanctity of life as her main character is kept alive by machines in his hospital bed while his children argue about whether he should be allowed to die. The novel is made more interesting though as we learn about Luke Warren’s past and the somewhat unorthodox relationships he has had with his family.

The title – Lone Wolf is apt as we discover that Luke is a biologist who has spent his life studying and learning about the behaviour of wolves. It became an obsession which prompted him to abandon his family in order to spend two years in the Canadian forests living with a pack of wolves. Over this period of time he became so much like a wolf that he forgot how to behave as a human. When he re-enters the ‘real’ world, the adjustment is so hard that it eventually leads to separation from his wife Georgie. Their son Edward leaves after an argument and heads to the other side of the world and only his daughter Cara, who is happy to share his wolf world, is left.

“Jodi Picoult’s storytelling is as good as ever…”

Years later Cara and Luke are involved in the car accident that leaves him in a vegetative state and her with severe injuries. It is also this situation that brings all of the estranged family members together again and forces them to face making the biggest decision of their lives. Do they allow the machines to keep Luke alive or turn them off and donate his organs? There follows huge arguments and accusations which culminate in a court case with brother and sister facing each other across an acrimonious courtroom.

In typical Jodi Picoult style, the story is told from numerous viewpoints with different characters telling different chapters. This really helps the reader get to know the characters and their motivations, but it can also be a little confusing as all of the chapters, regardless of the storyteller, are written in the first person. This does mean that you have to concentrate that little bit more in order to keep up with whoever is telling the story. Some of the most fascinating chapters are those attributed to Luke himself. These actually go back in time and chronicle his time living with the wolves. Although this is obviously fiction, it does provide a wonderful insight into the behaviour of these intriguing pack animals.

I really enjoyed reading Lone Wolf. Jodi Picoult’s storytelling is as good as ever and the subject matter is most provocative. It was the sort of book that I did not want to put down but I also could not second guess what the outcome was going to be. It’s also an extremely moving story that found me close to tears on many occasions. Overall, Lone Wolf is a fabulous book and one that I completely recommend to all Jodi Picoult fans.

Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult
Published by Hodder & Stoughton, February 2012
I am very grateful to the publishers for sending me a review copy.


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Lone Wolf
by Jodi Picoult

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Written by kingfisher
kingfisher

My name is Jo and I have been married to Simon for nine years. We have two beautiful daughters – Rachel who is six and Natalie who is almost five and starting school in January. I also have two step children aged twenty one and seventeen so family life is never dull. I also manage to work three days for a local education authority where I support the teaching of literacy in primary schools. I love my job and it’s ideal for a book lover like me. In my spare time I run, dance and occasionally tread the boards with my local amateur dramatics group. My first love is reading though and you will never find me without a book on the go. My husband is also an avid reader and we are hoping to pass on our love of reading to our daughters. They certainly love their bedtime stories every night. Although I have and English degree and I am familiar with most of the classics, I generally read much lighter stuff these days. It’s mainly ‘chic lit’ but I also enjoy a good thriller or courtroom drama. I have so many favourite authors and this list tends to change regularly depending on what I am reading.

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