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WeeRead: Review of Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

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Our book reviewer Jana reads Jodi Picoult's Lone Wolf and shares what she thought of the book.

Having not read any of Jodi Picoult’s books before, I was unsure what to expect when I dove into Lone Wolf. The basic premise was interesting on its own – a family divided must work together in a tragic situation that forces them to answer hard questions about end of life decisions when the concepts of life and death are scientifically murky. In case that wasn’t enough, the whole debate is overlaid with the unlikely story of Luke Warren and his experience living with wolves in the wild.

In a story narrated by all of the key players in this family drama, the reader can draw many parallels between the Warrens’ nuclear family and Luke’s wolf pack (perhaps too many). Luke’s children attempt to battle their way through all of them on their journey to reconcile themselves to their situation and to each other. Anger, resentment, and guilt seem to drive the characters from bad decision to bad decision until they come undone at the seams and spill out all their secret motivations.

Ultimately, although I found the book an easy and interesting read, I didn’t find it gripping. Key plot elements seemed to escalate and defuse too rapidly or too easily, and characters operated based on motivations I found hard to believe. At times it seemed like Picoult was trying too blatantly to pluck at our heartstrings, instead of leaving us to form our own thoughts and feelings about a very contentious debate.

 

Jana is a college English instructor and librarian who is currently enjoying maternity leave with her handsome little man, Reid.

 

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