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Lone Wolf: A Novel Hardcover – February 28, 2012
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Estranged from his family while living in Thailand for the past six years, Edward Warren is summoned home to New Hampshire when his father, Luke, a renowned wolf expert, and Edward’s 17-year-old sister, Cara, are critically injured in a car accident. Cara’s wounds are not life-threatening, but Luke has suffered severe brain damage and languishes in a vegetative state doctors say is irreversible. As his father’s legal next-of-kin, it falls to Edward to make the hard choices about life support and organ donation, a nearly impossible responsibility, given that father and son parted on angry terms the night Edward tried to confide to Luke that he was gay. Then Cara becomes a volatile advocate for her father’s right-to-life, taking impulsive steps to wrest control away from Edward. Though the author’s loyal “Pi-cult” following will drive demand, this latest offering lacks the emotional nuance that may have won Picoult her fans. Worthy discussions about critical end-of-life medical and moral issues are often eclipsed by overwrought teenage melodrama and heavy-handed working of the “lone wolf/Luke Warren” trope. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Best-selling Picoult will conduct a national author tour backed by extensive advertising and publicity for this topical drama by a reliably prolific and avidly popular author. --Carol Haggas
“Nobody in commercial fiction cranks the pages more effectively than Jodi Picoult.” --USA Today
“Compelling... fascinating... this page-turner will keep you wondering.” --People Magazine
"Impossible to put down." --Library Journal
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I'm leaving this review because I didn't leave one 5 years ago. If you have an open mind to the inexplicable vagaries of life, read this book.
But I couldn't really get into the story. The family, estranged family, ex- family and new family were a bit too much. And with all there was either too much love, too much hate or too much indifference. I found that a strange way to build characters. They also didn't seem to develope much along the way. The names of who was speaking started each chapter...that helped except whoever, I guess the publisher, felt they had to change the font as well which did nothing but irritate me.
At the start of the book the wolf stories and how they live and form packs was interesting until I figured out that only the last paragraph or so of those chapters was relevant to the last or next chapter. I began skipping the wolf stuff.
The father with the massive head injuries really didn't get much sympathy from me...he left his family for a few years while they fell apart...why? Well, because he found wolves more interesting than them.
I just read the above...must say that I may be being too hard all the way around and I will try another of her books. So many cannot be wrong. Or, can they? :-)
A new resident of Wyoming, I found Lone Wolf particularly interesting. The wolves of Yellowstone, and some of the difficulties they have presented and been presented with, are briefly mentioned. I am fascinated and impressed by the elements of pack behavior Picoult introduces. And of course, the meat of the story... Questions about whether to prolong life or not are always difficult ones. How do we really know another's mind? We often make decisions for one another based on what we would want for ourselves. Not on purpose, of course, but we naturally tend to think that what we would want would surely be what our partner, parents, or friends would also want. Another point scored for having an advanced directive. What sometimes seems morbid may ultimately become a gift to the person left to make medical decisions they do not feel capable of making properly. Beyond the question of prolonging life or not, Picoult invites readers to consider what constitutes a life, a family, a father.
I loved the final chapter in Lone Wolf. Just when you think it's over, Picoult leaves readers with one last 'what if' that lingers long past the closing author's note.
Thank you, Jodi Picoult, for yet another well-crafted, astonishingly absorbing tale of love, loss, and transformation.