Leaving Time

The legions of readers who already adore the writing of Jodi Picoult (The Storyteller) have an (often exceeded) expectation of richly drawn characters, intricately woven plots and resonant conclusions. They have come to expect mastery, and will not be disappointed by Leaving Time. Picoult explores territory that is heretofore uncharted in her career, and to be thrown for a loop by an author whose bestselling work routinely follows a successful formula is a pleasure as unexpected as finding a vending machine has kicked out two chocolate bars instead of one.

Leaving Time centers on Jenna, a 13-year-old girl fixated on finding her mother, a scientist who abandoned her a decade before. She is aided by two unlikely allies: Serenity, a pink-haired psychic with something to prove, and Virgil, a crotchety detective whose mishandling of an old case drove him straight to the bottle. All three are connected by their shared pain and begin to bond in surprising ways as they hunt for Alice, Jenna's missing mother.

The otherwise-absent Alice gets a voice with first-person chapters covering the time before she left her daughter. These flashbacks provide fascinating insight into both her life with baby Jenna and as well as her obsession with elephants. There's nearly a book within a book about these majestic creatures that will leave readers almost as riveted by pachyderms as they are by this exceptional story of flawed souls and redemption.

To say more about this irresistible mystery would be doing readers a great disservice. The pleasure of discovery in this novel is a feeling that readers will not soon forget. --Natalie Papailiou, author of blog MILF: Mother I'd Like to Friend

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