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Leaving Time (with bonus novella Larger Than Life)
Cover of Leaving Time (with bonus novella Larger Than Life)
Leaving Time (with bonus novella Larger Than Life)
A Novel
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERIncludes the novella Larger Than LifeThroughout her blockbuster career, Jodi Picoult has seamlessly blended nuanced characters, riveting plots, and rich prose, brilliantly...
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERIncludes the novella Larger Than LifeThroughout her blockbuster career, Jodi Picoult has seamlessly blended nuanced characters, riveting plots, and rich prose, brilliantly...
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Description-

  • #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • Includes the novella Larger Than Life
    Throughout her blockbuster career, Jodi Picoult has seamlessly blended nuanced characters, riveting plots, and rich prose, brilliantly creating stories that "not only provoke the mind but touch the flawed souls in all of us" (The Boston Globe). Now, in her highly anticipated new novel, she has delivered her most affecting work yet—a book unlike anything she's written before.

    For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe she was abandoned, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice's old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother's whereabouts.

    Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest: Serenity Jones, a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons, only to later doubt her gifts, and Virgil Stanhope, the jaded private detective who'd originally investigated Alice's case along with the strange, possibly linked death of one of her colleagues. As the three work together to uncover what happened to Alice, they realize that in asking hard questions, they'll have to face even harder answers.

    As Jenna's memories dovetail with the events in her mother's journals, the story races to a mesmerizing finish. A deeply moving, gripping, and intelligent page-turner, Leaving Time is Jodi Picoult at the height of her powers.
    Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more.
    Praise for Leaving Time


    "Piercing and uplifting . . . a smart, accessible yarn with a suspenseful puzzle at its core."The Boston Globe

    "Poignant . . . an entertaining tale about parental love, friendship, loss."The Washington Post

    "A riveting drama."Us Weekly

    "[A] moving tale."People

    "A fast-paced, surprise-ending mystery."USA Today

    "In Jenna, [Jodi] Picoult has created an unforgettable character who will easily endear herself to each and every reader. . . . Leaving Time may be her finest work yet."Bookreporter

    "[A] captivating and emotional story."BookPage

    "With plenty of twists and a surprising ending, [Leaving Time] explores the grieving process and what happens when we cannot move on."Woman's Day

    "A moving and emotional story."Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    "A truly engaging read . . . Full of the deep characters and multilayered story lines that have earned [Picoult] a spot in many readers' hearts."Library Journal

    "Delivers a powerhouse ending."Booklist

    "Memorable and poignant."Publishers Weekly
    From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    JennaSome people used to believe that there was an elephant graveyard---a place that sick and old elephants would travel to to die. They'd slip away from their herds and would lumber across the dusty landscape, like the titans we read about in seventh grade in Greek Mythology. Legend said the spot was in Saudi Arabia; that it was the source of a supernatural force; that it contained a book of spells to bring about world peace.
    Explorers who went in search of the graveyard would follow dying elephants for weeks, only to realize they'd been led in circles. Some of these voyagers disappeared completely. Some could not remember what they had seen, and not a single explorer who claimed to have found the graveyard could ever locate it again.
    Here's why: The elephant graveyard is a myth.
    True, researchers have found groups of elephants that died in the same vicinity, many over a short period of time. My mother, Alice, would have said there's a perfectly logical reason for a mass burial site: a group of elephants who died all at once due to lack of food or water; a slaughter by ivory hunters. It's even possible that the strong winds in Africa could blow a scattering of bones into a concentrated pile. Jenna, she would have told me, there's an explanation for everything you see.
    There is plenty of information about elephants and death that is not fable but instead cold, hard science. My mother would have been able to tell me that, too. We would have sat, shoulder to shoulder, beneath the massive oak where Maura liked to shade herself, watching the elephant pick up acorns with her trunk and pitch them. My mother would rate each toss like an Olympic judge. 8.5 . . . 7.9. Ooh! A perfect 10.
    Maybe I would have listened. But maybe, too, I would have just closed my eyes. Maybe I would have tried to memorize the smell of bug spray on my mother's skin, or the way she absentmindedly braided my hair, tying it off on the end with a stalk of green grass.
    Maybe the whole time I would have been wishing there really was an elephant graveyard, except not just for elephants. Because then I'd be able to find her.

    Alice

    When I was nine---before I grew up and became a scientist---I thought I knew everything, or at least I wanted to know everything, and in my mind there was no difference between the two. At that age, I was obsessed with animals. I knew that a group of tigers was called a streak. I knew that dolphins were carnivores. I knew that giraffes had four stomachs and that the leg muscles of a locust were a thousand times more powerful than the same weight of human muscle. I knew that white polar bears had black skin beneath their fur, and that jellyfish had no brains. I knew all these facts from the Time--Life monthly animal fact cards that I had received as a birthday gift from my pseudo-stepfather, who had moved out a year ago and now lived in San Francisco with his best friend, Frank, who my mother called "the other woman" when she thought I wasn't listening.
    Every month new cards arrived in the mail, and then one day, in October 1977, the best card of all arrived: the one about elephants. I cannot tell you why they were my favorite animals. Maybe it was my bedroom, with its green shag jungle carpet and the wallpaper border of cartoon pachyderms dancing across the walls. Maybe it was the fact that the first movie I'd ever seen, as a toddler, was Dumbo. Maybe it was because the silk lining inside my mother's fur coat, the one she had inherited from her own mother, was made from an Indian sari and printed with elephants.
    From that Time--Life card, I learned the basics about elephants. They were the largest land animals on the planet,...

About the Author-

  • Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-four novels, including Small Great Things, Leaving Time, The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, My Sister's Keeper, and, with daughter Samantha van Leer, two young adult novels, Between the Lines and Off the Page. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 16, 2014
    Picoult’s (The Storyteller) novel explores grief, memory, and motherhood through the unlikely lens of elephant behavior. Jenna Metcalf was three years old when her mother, Alice, disappeared from the elephant sanctuary where she worked as a researcher. Ten years later, Jenna is ready to launch a search. After poring over her mother’s research journals, consulting the Internet, and visiting her father in the mental institution where he’s been since shortly after the disappearance, she enlists outside assistance from Serenity Jones, a once-famous psychic whose gift appears to have deserted her, and Virgil Stanhope, the gruff, alcoholic ex-police detective who was once assigned to Alice’s case. With their help, Jenna finds new evidence at the now-closed sanctuary and begins to piece together the events of the night her mother disappeared, leading her to a few uncomfortable truths about the past, but bringing much-needed closure to her and her dad. Longtime fans of Picoult will recognize some of her stock characters—the precocious, sassy teenager; the distant, philosophical mother; the curmudgeonly surrogate father figure—as well the her trademark twist ending, which may well be her strangest to date. When she diverges from her usual formula her storytelling skills are most evident. The pachyderms are as complex as the humans, making the journey memorable and poignant.

  • Kirkus

    August 15, 2014
    A decade after the disappearance of an elephant researcher, her 13-year-old daughter, a washed-up private detective and a has-been psychic team up to find answers.As in Lone Wolf, (2012) Picoult uses fiction to illustrate the plight of animals who are being decimated by humans, in this case elephants who are endangered by everything from poachers to circuses. Teenage Jenna, daughter of missing-scientist Alice, launches a search for her mother, who vanished from the hospital after being found unconscious on the grounds of a New Hampshire elephant refuge where a co-worker was fatally trampled. Jenna's father, Thomas, has been in a psychiatric hospital since the incident, and she lives with her grandmother, who refuses to discuss Alice's fate. Jenna shares narrative duties with three others: Virgil, a police detective-turned-drunken private eye whose law enforcement career crashed and burned as a result of the botched investigation into the trampling death; Serenity, a clairvoyant, who was a national celebrity until her spirit guides deserted her in the middle of the search for a senator's kidnapped child; and Alice herself, who details past events leading up to the pivotal crisis. As a young graduate student doing fieldwork at an African game preserve, Alice studied the grieving rituals of elephants, which include revering the bones of departed ancestors and burying deceased loved ones with leaves and grass. In Africa, Alice recognizes a kindred spirit in a visitor, Thomas, who runs a New Hampshire sanctuary for abused elephants rescued from circuses and zoos. She joins him there, marries him, gives birth to Jenna and begins to question her husband's sanity. Thus the seeds are sewn for a thriller that involves noble pachyderms, adultery and a breathless chase across several states. The pages turn apace, though Virgil labors under too many noir cliches, and wisecracking Serenity seems to be on loan from a Susan Isaacs novel. The ending borrows unforgivably from a source it would be equally unforgivable to reveal.

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    May 15, 2014
    Desperate to find out what happened to her mother, Alice, who left behind the family she loved and the elephants she had studied so devotedly when she mysteriously vanished, 13-year-old Jenna joins forces with shady psychic Serenity Jones and world-weary detective Virgil Stanhope. Two e-originals, "Where There's Smoke" (May 19) and "Larger Than Life" (August 5), introduce Serenity and Alice, respectively.

    Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publishers Weekly "Piercing and uplifting . . . a smart, accessible yarn with a suspenseful puzzle at its core."--The Boston Globe "Poignant . . . an entertaining tale about parental love, friendship, loss."--The Washington Post "A riveting drama."--Us Weekly "[A] moving tale."--People "A fast-paced, surprise-ending mystery."--USA Today "In Jenna, [Jodi] Picoult has created an unforgettable character who will easily endear herself to each and every reader. . . . Leaving Time may be her finest work yet."--Bookreporter "[A] captivating and emotional story."--BookPage "With plenty of twists and a surprising ending, [Leaving Time] explores the grieving process and what happens when we cannot move on."--Woman's Day "A moving and emotional story."--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "A truly engaging read . . . Full of the deep characters and multilayered story lines that have earned [Picoult] a spot in many readers' hearts."--Library Journal "Delivers a powerhouse ending."--Booklist "Memorable and poignant."

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