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Mirkat Always Reading

I'm always reading something, usually multiple books at a time.

Leaving Time

Leaving Time: A Novel - Jodi Picoult, Abigail Revasch, Rebecca Lowman, Mark Deakins, Kathe Mazur



I have fallen in love with this book.  To think, on a few different occasions when deciding which audiobook to download from my library's site, I read the description of this book and passed on it.  But this time I decided to give it a try, and I was quickly hooked.


Jenna Metcalf wants to find out what happened to her mother Alice 10 years before, when Jenna was three.  At the time, Alice and her husband Thomas operated an elephant sanctuary in Boone, New Hampshire, along with sanctuary employees Nevvie Ruehl, Nevvie's daughter Grace Cartwright, and Grace's husband Gabriel Cartwright.  Police had been called in to the sanctuary, where they found Nevvie dead and Alice unconscious within one of the elephant enclosures.  Alice, having been brought to the hospital while unconscious, checked herself out early the next morning, before police were able to question her, and was not seen since.  Thomas Metcalf, since shortly after the accident, has been in a mental-health facility, inhabiting his own separate reality.


To help her discover what happened to Alice, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies:  Serenity Jones, formerly a celebrity psychic, whose reputation was destroyed when she made a botched prediction in a high-profile missing-child case, and Virgil Stanhope, who had been the police officer who took an unconscious Alice to the hospital, but who apparently left the force shortly afterward and became a private investigator.


There are four first-person narrators in this book:  Alice, Jenna, Serenity, and Virgil.  The audiobook has four separate narrators--one for each POV character--and this works extremely well.  Alice's chapters share her research into elephant mourning, meeting Thomas while working on a preserve in Africa, falling in love with him when she realizes he is as devoted to elephants as she is, coming out to New Hampshire to join the sanctuary family, and the events that lead to the fateful night of the accident. 


This book has a twist I did not see coming.  One of those twists that knocks the wind out of you.  I don't want to say anything else about it, lest  I spoil anything. There is a supernatural element (as you might have guessed from the presence of a psychic), but this component was executed in a non-woo, non-annoying way.


As a side note--I already loved elephants, but this book made me love them even more.  At the very end is an author's note providing more information on the non-fiction sources used to inform Alice's informative sections, as well as resources readers can use to support elephant sanctuaries and anti-poaching initiatives.