The reliably prolific Jodi Picoult returns with Lone Wolf, an absorbing story about an unusual, fractured family.
Jodi Picoult thought she had created a unique character in her new novel, Lone Wolf—a
Lone Wolf is the nineteenth novel by Jodi Picoult. The story starts with the road accident that puts 17-year-old Cara Warren into hospital with a broken shoulder, and her father, Luke, into a vegetative state in the ICU. Luke Warren is a brilliant conservationist and wildlife researcher who has written a book, “Lone Wolf” about his two years in the Canadian wilderness living with wolves as part of their pack. When his ex-wife, Georgie Ng, is contacted, she reaches out to their estranged son, 24-year-old Edward, who is living in Thailand teaching English. After an argument with Luke six years ago, Edward disappeared from their lives. Now he is back, and he and Cara have to decide whether to let their father die and donate his organs, or keep him alive and hope he will recover. Trouble is, they don’t agree on the best course of action. Once again, Picoult uses several voices printed in different fonts to narrate the story. Luke provides, through what seems to be his tattered journal or the well-worn pages of his book, a wealth of fascinating information about wolves and their behaviour, and how this came to be his life’s work. The other family members show how Luke’s passion affects everyday family life, often referring to parallels in wolf behaviour and human actions. Picoult creates characters the reader can invest in without feeling short-changed: characters with depth and emotion, secrets and guilt. By using the different voices, she also illustrates different ways that people remember their conversations and interactions with each other. Picoult’s depth of research is apparent, she gives us a glimpse of what it would be like to be consumed by a passion, and engineers situations that have the reader intrigued and enthralled. There are enough plot twists to keep the ending from being predictable, and some pieces of wolf wisdom that can readily apply to our own lives like “The highest-ranking wolf in the pack isn’t the one that uses brute force. It’s the one who can, and chooses not to.” As always, a brilliant read.