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Jodi Picoult is renowned for taking a heart breaking situation and getting her readers to put themselves in that position and consider what they would do.
Lone Wolf tells the story of a man who has always loved animals, who abandons his family and goes to live in the wild so he can fully understand how animals survive in the wild, namely wolves and how they function as a pact. He succssfully infiltrates a pack and gets them to accept him as one of them.
All the while he has a family back home, mising him, terrified that he will not return alive.
Throughout the book you cannot begin to understand how someone could do that to their own family.
The real tragedy is when a man who has lived in the wild and miraculously survived, is left in a coma after something, albeit devastating, but mundane as a car accident.
His daughter begs for the doctors to let him remain on life support, but her brother, is allowed to make the decision to end his life.
This book is a real must read. Athough it is full of tragedy, it really makes you put things into perspective and make the most of your life and relationships.
Anyone who hasn't read a Picoult novel really is missing out.
Lone Wolf is the story of a family brought back together through a terrible accident. When Luke Warren is bringing his teenage daughter, Cara, home from a party, the two of them crash, leaving Cara with a broken shoulder and Luke in a coma. Luke's ex-wife, who has remarried and has a new young family, calls their eldest child, son Edward who has been abroad and estranged for six years and he returns home.
There are, as always with Picoult's novels, many strands running through the novel and the story is told from several characters' perspectives. Luke Warren is a man obsessed with wolves and the study of their lifestyle - to the extent that he left his family and lived wild with a wolf pack in the remote Canadian forests for two years.
It was a fascinating insight into the lives of wolves and the level of research is impressive alongside the detail of the court case and medical references. The parallels between wolf behaviour and human behaviour are interesting too.
I have long been a fan of Jodi Picoult and I wasn't disappointed in this book. The story hooks you in, wanting to know about Luke's experiences in the wild with the wolves; wanting to know why Edward argued with his father and left his family; and wanting to know what Cara is hiding about the car accident. Having the chapters told by various characters adds to the story's dimension - exploring different viewpoints and emotions.
A good read - well written, well researched and as ever with a satisfying ending.
Jodi Picoult does not shy away from tangled, controversial topics with the subjects of any of her novels. In the past she has tackled euthanasia, rape, and school shootings, among other things, and the central question of "Lone Wolf" is no less thorny an issue: if a member of your family were in an irreparably vegetative state, who should decide whether life or death is kindest?
For the most part, "Lone Wolf" succeeds. Written in Picoult's signature style, skilfully blending beautiful metaphors and giving each of the main characters a chance to speak, we are introduced to Luke, the man who so ingratiates himself with wolf culture that he can scarcely call himself a man anymore: Cara, his 17-year old daughter, who blames herself for the car crash that causes his coma and wants to keep her father alive at all costs: and Edward, his estranged son who believes letting his father die is the kindest thing for him. As with all Picoult's novels, this results in a court-case and therein lies the flaw with this novel: having read all of her previous work, "Lone Wolf" feels rather predictable in terms of plot. Something (usually tragic) happens with no easy right-or-wrong fix for it, a family is split down the middle, a court-case is in order, long-buried secrets are revealed, a shocking third-act revelation takes place, and ultimately the story ends with the family trying to knit itself back together. As a result, on occasion the writing does feel a little lazy. In comparison with such well-written characters from her other work (the lawyer Jordan McAfee, for example, springs instantly to mind) it is sometimes hard to feel any sympathy for Luke, Cara or Edward.
"Lone Wolf" is written beautifully but ultimately comes off feeling a little hollow. It is well worth a read for Picoult's long-time fans, though not on par with several of her earlier novels, and for newcomers to her brand of family-and-law drama it will not disappoint, though equally it may not inspire either.
I have just finished reading this book and it is fantastic, an extremely good read. It is a little slow to start off with to be fair, but like all Jodi Picoult books shes gives you a bit of everything and reading about each character is interesting. the ending is shocking i really didn't see that coming. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to be amazed. I have read about 9 of her books and some are better than others and this is defiantly in the top 3 of her best. I wouldn't like to give away the ending but as reading the twilight books you have an understanding of the wolves in that and this is about a guy who works with wolves and explains that they have family values and trust among them. whilst his own family is being torn apart he cannot see or use what he is preaching. A lot of twists and turns along the way with this book so be prepared not to be able to put it down.
When Luke Warren is involved in a car accident which leaves him in a coma, his family are gathered together against the odds; they face an impossible dilemma. His daughter Cara is praying for a miracle: she will fight everything and everyone to save her father's life. His son Edward can't imagine that a man who once ran with wolves could ever be happy with a different life. But Edward hasn't spoken to Luke for six years. How can he dare to speak on his father's behalf? Somehow, they must choose: Do they keep Luke alive? Or do they let him go?
I am a huge fan of Jodi Picoult's books but for one reason or another, I haven't gotten around to reading her last few books just yet. When I was sent a review copy of her latest book, Lone Wolf, I was most definitely intrigued by both the title and the idea of the book that I decided it was time I read one of her books again. I'm not a person who is into nature or wolves especially, but the idea of children fighting over what's best for their ailing father sounded interesting, and I know Picoult always manages to write a wonderful drama into a story, and that I'd be guaranteed an amazing read. Luckily, I wasn't disappointed at all, and found myself totally engrossed in the world of Luke and his wolves that I really didn't want to put the book down, and even now, a week after finishing it I'm still thinking about it as well as the dilemma the book poses to its readers.
The book is based around the character of Luke Warren, a man who loves everything about wolves and decides to go and live with them in order to understand a wolf pack completely and utterly. He does this at the expense of his marriage to his ex-wife, and his relationship with his children Edward and Cara. Edward later runs off abroad to live, causing a further rift between the warring parents even more, and younger daughter Cara decides to go and live with her father and live the 'lone wolf' life as well. But when Luke is involved in a near fatal car accident along with Cara, it leaves his children at war as to what to do. Loyal Cara wants to keep Luke alive at any cost, even if there is no hope whereas Edward is trying to be more realistic and realises his father has no meaningful life ahead of him. But Cara is prepared to fight as long as it takes to keep her father with her, but at what cost?
What I found interesting about this book is the way that it is written. The action of the present day makes up the bulk of the book, with the story involving Edward and Cara, and their fight over their father. The chapters alternate between narrators, so we hear from the points of view of both of the siblings, as well as others including Edward's lawyer Joe (also his mum's new husband!), and Georgie, Luke's ex-wife and Cara and Edward's mother. Luke's chapters come as the form of a sort of diary narration, written about his life with the wolves, how he came to do the things he did and also his emotional take on everything around him. These pages were written in italics, separating them from the rest of the book, and the pages had a smudged, almost dirty look to them which made it feel more authentic, and I loved this attention to detail. All of the characters were so well written, you can sympathise with each of their plights, but for me my favourite by far was Luke. I was totally taken away into his wolf world when I was reading, from imagining how the wolves looked, to how he reacted to the frightening scenarios, Picoult writes so beautifully in these parts its almost hard to believe its fiction you're reading.
As well as Luke's tale of survival and living with wolves, there is of course the fight for Luke between Edward and Cara. Cara was written perfectly, a teenage girl who adores and idolises her father, and is unwilling to accept that there is no hope left for him anymore, and even those as a reader we can see that her father is truly gone, as a daughter myself, and a mother, I can understand her loyalty and despair at the idea of losing him for good. Edward on the other hand was harder to warm to, he almost didn't know his father but as the story progresses and things are revealed, your emotions are toyed with and I ended up empathising with him too, and understood his need to do what he believes his father would want. It's an interesting moral dilemma, and one which Picoult presents both sides of brilliantly, and writes so emotionally for all of the characters involved. There's a fair bit of medical jargon in there, enough to give you an idea of what's happening and to realise Picoult has really researched this, but its not too complicated that you won't understand a word! As usual, it climaxes in a court room drama but I felt this part was shorter than in previous novels, and I enjoyed the closing of the book very much.
Overall, this is a very emotional read that delves into the feelings of grief a child goes through at the loss of a parent, but also deals with other important issues such as the rights of children, especially minors, when decisions are made about someone's life or death. The wolf scenes however stole the show for me, and were an absolute joy to read, from Luke's raw emotions and feelings that were written, to the vivid descriptions of the world around him when he's living in the wilderness with the wolf pack, and how he interacts with these amazing animals. I found myself reading into the wee hours of the morning with this book as I couldn't put it down, and couldn't convince myself it was a good time to put it down and wait until morning to carry on reading! The writing style was incredibly easy to read, and the book flowed so well, even though it jumped around in times periods a lot, from Luke's narrative chapters, to Cara's childhood, Edward's childhood and then the present day also. However, all bases are covered and we're given a detailed and brilliant story that'll have you thinking and pondering for weeks and months to come. Simply brilliant. A must read.
ISBN: 978-1444728989. Published by Hodder and Stoughton on 28th February 2012. Pages: 384. RRP: £12.99. Also available as an eBook now.
Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy to review for http://chicklitchloe.blogspot.com
Thank you for reading.
Jodi Picoult is one of my favourite authors as her novels always challenge and provoke whilst tackling controversial topics. In her latest book, 'Lone Wolf', she prompts one to think about the sanctity of life as her main character is kept alive by machines in his hospital bed while his children argue about whether he should be allowed to die. The novel is made more interesting though as we learn about Luke Warren's past and the somewhat unorthodox relationships he has had with his family.
The title - 'Lone Wolf' is apt as we discover that Luke is a biologist who has spent his life studying and learning about the behaviour of wolves. It became an obsession which prompted him to abandon his family in order to spend two years in the Canadian forests living with a pack of wolves. Over this period of time he became so much like a wolf that he forgot how to behave as a human. When he re-enters the 'real' world, the adjustment is so hard that it eventually leads to separation from his wife Georgie. Their son Edward leaves after an argument and heads to the other side of the world and only his daughter Cara, who is happy to share his wolf world, is left.
Years later Cara and Luke are involved in the car accident that leaves him in a vegetative state and her with severe injuries. It is also this situation that brings all of the estranged family members together again and forces them to face making the biggest decision of their lives. Do they allow the machines to keep Luke alive or turn them off and donate his organs? There follows huge arguments and accusations which culminate in a court case with brother and sister facing each other across an acrimonious courtroom.
In typical Jodi Picoult style, the story is told from numerous viewpoints with different characters telling different chapters. This really helps the reader get to know the characters and their motivations, but it can also be a little confusing as all of the chapters, regardless of the storyteller, are written in the first person. This does mean that you have to concentrate that little bit more in order to keep up with whoever is telling the story. Some of the most fascinating chapters are those attributed to Luke himself. These actually go back in time and chronicle his time living with the wolves. Although this is obviously fiction, it does provide a wonderful insight into the behaviour of these intriguing pack animals.
I really enjoyed reading 'Lone Wolf'. Jodi Picoult's storytelling is as good as ever and the subject matter is most provocative. It was the sort of book that I did not want to put down but I also could not second guess what the outcome was going to be. It's also an extremely moving story that found me close to tears on many occasions. Overall, 'Lone Wolf' is a fabulous book and one that I completely recommend to all Jodi Picoult fans.
This review has previously appeared under my name at www.curiousbookfans.co.uk