Some of Jodi Picoult’s books I really enjoy, i.e. Keeping Faith, The Pact, and My Sister’s Keeper; some I felt were a waste of my time, Songs of the Humpback Whale, Plain Truth, and Mercy. Recently I read LONE WOLF and felt that it will fit somewhere toward the top of my “enjoyed-list”.
Luke Warren is married and the father of a nineteen year-old son, Edward, and a pre-teen daughter, Cara. His passion is the study of wolves. Leaving his family behind, he spends two years in the wilds of Canada where he is accepted as a member of a pack of wild wolves. He comes home to find that he is no longer the family man that he was. As a result his marriage falls apart, his son disappears, and his daughter is no longer the little girl that he remembers.
Six years later, Edward is teaching English in Bangkok when he receives a phone call that his father and sister have been in a near fatal car accident. He arrives home to find his father in a coma, his sister full of hatred, and his mother re-married. Soon he is involved in a legal battle over who has the right to make the life/death decision to pull the plug on his father’s life support system.
LONE WOLF is written in alternating points of view. Picoult is one of the few authors who does this well. No two people see the same incident in the same way and this style of writing gives the reader a chance to draw his or her own conclusion.
Jodi Picoult also does dramatic courtroom scenes well. It might not be realistic for “surprising” facts to be shouted out in the middle of a trial, but it is good drama. The fact that the brother and sister are both young and have been hiding family secrets for years makes these scenes more believable.
Aside from this being a very readable novel, the facts about the living habits of the wolves was fascinating. We see the pack hierarchy in the wild and how important it is to honor that in captivity. I did not know that rank even dictates which wolf eats what part of the prey or that one of the ranks is that of “nanny” and that several wolves will “audition” for the position.
Ms. Picoult is also known for the ambiguity of her endings. Often her last sentence will make you re-think the whole book. I like that, but I have to admit that it took me several seconds to “get” the last chapter of this book. It is beautifully done.
If you like family dramas with a strong wild nature background, LONE WOLF may be just what you want.