Book Review: Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

What do you hate most about reading a  book you don't love?

The anticipation and then the subsequent let down?

The wasted time spent reading a mediocre book when you could have been reading your next favorite novel?

The let down after being so intrigued by the description?

For me, the worst part of not liking a book is when I a fan of the author already because of their other books.

The biggest sadness I've ran into with authors is Leila Mecham. She wrote Roses, which is one of my all time favorites. After that, she wrote Tumbleweeds and let me tell you about a whomp. I was so, just like, wahhhh about it. The first one as a multi-generation saga about a family's cotton plantation. Tumbleweeds was about a high school love triangle and one of the men turned into a priest.


So anyway, a few years ago, I read My Sister's Keeper, before it was a movie. I loved the story, even though it made me completely bawl my eyes out. It was gut-wrenching. I was in awe of Jody Picoult's ability to write about something so terrifyingly sad in such a beautiful way. It was the kind of story that stuck with you, made you think about it long after you finished the last page. So naturally, I looked for more of her books but they all were just too.damn.sad. I never finished another one. So when I saw Leaving Time, I thought I would give it a try because it didn't feature a dying child.

I hate to say this, but I didn't love it. 
It's about a woman who studied the grief patterns in elephants- especially those of mothers who have lost their calves. It was an intriguing concept, especially coupled with the main characters. A woman went missing 10 years ago and her daughter is looking for her. While searching, the daughter finds a physic...and it just kind of goes downhill from there. 

Jodi tries to make a parallel between grieving elephant mothers and the bond between human mother and child. I get that, but it just never "clicked." 

There were good moments where the momentum built up after you find out that there was a suspicious death the night that Jenna's mother disappeared. But that's about it. 

I was intrigued, as always, by Jodi's characters. She does a great job creating people who you can imagine vividly. I want to love her books, I really do. But the stories are just not there for me. Her writing is gorgeous and I can appreciate that much.

I'd say, read this book if you have a considerate imagination. 
I have an imagination, but I just can't take some things seriously and this book was a bit of a stretch for me. I couldn't make a connection with the elephants, which played a very large role in the book. 

Maybe it was the physic, maybe it was the vision of an elephant and a little girl walking off into the sunset holding hands(trunks) together, or maybe I am a hard critic, but this book was a downer for me.  

What is your favorite Jodi Picoult book? 


  1. I felt the same way about this book. I have loved many of Jodi's books, My Sister's Keeper being one of them. Nineteen Minutes is in my top 5 favorite books of all time! I've read almost all of them, and this one was the one I have liked the least. I felt so bad while I was reading it that I actually did a search on goodreads to find out if I was the only person out there who didn't like it (you and I are not). She is so well known for her surprise endings, that it almost seems like she forces the rest of the book to get to it. I wish she would go back to her previous format of writing books with a moral dilemma that make you see both sides of the issue.

  2. I haven't enjoyed many of her newer book. My favorites would be my Sisters Keeper and Plain Truth

  3. I actually really liked this book. I suspended some belief going into it so that helped.

    My favorite of hers is probably Plain Truth.

  4. I felt the same way about this book and her other recent ones. It is definitely disappointing but I wonder if my expectations are just too high.

    I'm definitely going to check out Roses!

  5. I love Sing Me Home! It's really well done and smart. I feel like it didn't get as much fanfare when it came out.

  6. I loved Roses by Leila Mecham. Don't think I'll be reading Tumbleweeds though. Love Jodi first book that I read of hers was Perfect Match which got me really into her. Favorite though.....that's hard. Maybe The Pact??!!!

  7. I adore Jodi Picoult! My favourites are Plain Truth, Nineteen Minutes and The Pact. I haven't read this book but was let down recently by one of her other newer books-Lone Wolf.

    Although I did LOVE The Storyteller, another newer book. So I think Jodi still has it in her and just needs to get back to doing what she does best.


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