Review ~ Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books (February 28, 2012)
Genre: General Fiction
ISBN-10: 1439102740
Buy:  Amazon, The Book Depository, IndieBound

  • lone-wolf

    A life hanging in the balance . . . a family torn apart. The #1 internationally bestselling author Jodi Picoult tells an unforgettable story about family secrets, love, and letting go.

    In the wild, when a wolf knows its time is over, when it knows it is of no more use to its pack, it may sometimes choose to slip away. Dying apart from its family, it stays proud and true to its nature. Humans aren’t so lucky.

    Luke Warren has spent his life researching wolves. He has written about them, studied their habits intensively, and even lived with them for extended periods of time. In many ways, Luke understands wolf dynamics better than those of his own family. His wife, Georgie, has left him, finally giving up on their lonely marriage. His son, Edward, twenty-four, fled six years ago, leaving behind a shattered relationship with his father. Edward understands that some things cannot be fixed, though memories of his domineering father still inflict pain. Then comes a frantic phone call: Luke has been gravely injured in a car accident with Edward’s younger sister, Cara.

    Suddenly everything changes: Edward must return home to face the father he walked out on at age eighteen. He and Cara have to decide their father’s fate together. Though there’s no easy answer, questions abound: What secrets have Edward and his sister kept from each other? What hidden motives inform their need to let their father die . . . or to try to keep him alive? What would Luke himself want? How can any family member make such a decision in the face of guilt, pain, or both? And most importantly, to what extent have they all forgotten what a wolf never forgets: that each member of a pack needs the others, and that sometimes survival means sacrifice?

    Another tour de force by Picoult, Lone Wolf brilliantly describes the nature of a family: the love, protection, and strength it can offer—and the price we might have to pay for those gifts. What happens when the hope that should sustain a family is the very thing tearing it apart?


    What I get asked all the time is: How could you do it? How could you possibly walk about from civilization, from a family, and go live in the forests of Canada with a pack of wild wolves?  How could you give up hot showers, coffee, human contact, conversation, two years of your children’s lives?
                    Well, you don’t miss hot showers when all soap does is make it harder for your pack to recognize you by scent.
                    You don’t miss coffee when your senses are on full alert all the time without it.
                    You don’t miss human contact when you are huddled between the warmth of tow of your animal brothers. You don’t miss conversation when you learn their language.
                    You don’t walk away from your family. You find yourself firmly lodged within a new one.

                    So you see, the real question isn’t how I left this world to go into the woods.
                    It’s how I made myself come back.

    Luke – Lone Wolf


    Luke ~  Father to Edward and Cara, Luke’s main focus in life are his wolves. He has built enclosures for his captive wolves at the Trading Post/Dinosaur World where he works, becoming a part of their pacts. He eats as they do, sleeps as they do, hunts as they do. And when the children were younger, he disappeared into the wilds of Canada for two years to study them and literally become one of them.

    Edward ~ Shortly after turning 18, in the middle of the night, Edward leaves home for parts unknown to his family after coming out to his father. The only reason he has returned, six years later, is because his father and sister are in a car accident, and he is the only one who can make decisions regarding his treatment.  Coming home isn’t easy for Edward. Will he be able to face his mother and sister? Will he be able to make a decision that his father wanted or will he simply be seeking revenge?

    Cara ~ Not quite 18, Cara has lived with her father for the past four years, having moved in with him after her mother got remarried and had twins. And all these years later, she still blames her brother for leaving, thus destroying their family. What was it all Edward’s fault?  She is with Luke in the car when it crashes, but there is something about the crash that she isn’t sharing. Something that could haunt her forever. She refuses to believe what the doctors say about her father’s prognosis, and she will go to extreme measures to keep him alive.

    Georgie ~ Mother to both Cara & Edward, Luke’s ex-wife, Joe’s new wife, and mother to boy and girl twins. Georgie has missed her son terribly, and despite the circumstances, is happy to have him home.  But now she’s placed in the impossible position of having to choose “sides” with her children. One who wants their father to be able to go in peace, the other who wants him kept alive at any cost.

    Joe ~ Married to Georgie and a defense attorney. He’s brought on board to represent Edward when things take an unexpected turn. He loves his stepdaughter as if she were his own, but there are times when he has to cause her pain. And hopefully, in time, she will understand that and be able to forgive him.

    When I first started reading, and even when I finished this book, I wasn’t really sure how I felt about it. Not really the actual storyline of who gets to decide what the best treatment option is for Luke ~ his son, who knows what his wishers are, but hasn’t seen him in six years and left after a nasty fight, or the daughter who has lived with him and isn’t ready to let him go ~ but the whole wolf thing. To be honest, it didn’t really interest me all that much. And even though it’s not necessarily about the wolves themselves, but for the family unit that they represent, I still had a hard time connecting with that aspect of the story.

    Just like in a real family (or as Luke calls it, the Mafia), each wolf in the pact plays an important role. The alpha is the decision maker, the beta is the enforcer, the tester is the lookout, and the diffuser is considered the peacemaker.  And just like in most families, the unit works because everyone has a specific role to play. Whether it’s the provider, the caretaker, or the nursemaid, everyone has a specific job.

    It is clear that Ms Picoult did her research when writing this book. The understanding of the wolves and the lives they lead is incredibly detailed, right down to the positions the wolves take when feeding on a recent kill.  The info related to traumatic brain injury, the options families have, and what happened to some that were deemed incurable who have made remarkable recoveries is fully explored. With each chapter written from the perspective of a different character, Lone Wolf is the story of one family’s destruction and a tragedy that could bring it back together again. It’s the story of parents choosing sides, brother versus sister, life versus death, hope versus revenge, and finding forgiveness from those that matter the most. 

    About the author ~ 

Jodi Picoult, 43, is the bestselling author of seventeen novels: SONGS OF THE HUMPBACK WHALE (1992), HARVESTING THE HEART (1994), PICTURE PERFECT (1995), MERCY (1996), THE PACT (1998), KEEPING FAITH (1999), PLAIN TRUTH (2000), SALEM FALLS (2001), PERFECT MATCH (2002), SECOND GLANCE (2003), MY SISTER'S KEEPER (2004), VANISHING ACTS (2005), THE TENTH CIRCLE (2006), NINETEEN MINUTES (2007), CHANGE OF HEART (2008), HANDLE WITH CARE (2009), HOUSE RULES (2010)  and her newest novel, SING YOU HOME (2011).

Picoult studied creative writing with Mary Morris at Princeton, and had two short stories published in Seventeen magazine while still a student. Realism — and a profound desire to be able to pay the rent — led Picoult to a series of different jobs following her graduation: as a technical writer for a Wall Street brokerage firm, as a copywriter at an ad agency, as an editor at a textbook publisher, and as an 8th grade English teacher — before entering Harvard to pursue a master’s in education. She married Tim Van Leer, whom she had known at Princeton, and it was while she was pregnant with her first child that she wrote her first novel, SONGS OF THE HUMPBACK WHALE.

In 2003 she was awarded the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction. She has also been the recipient an Alex Award from the Young Adult Library Services Association, sponsored by the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust and Booklist, one of ten books written for adults that have special appeal for young adults; the Book Browse Diamond Award for novel of the year; a lifetime achievement award for mainstream fiction from the Romance Writers of America; Cosmopolitan magazine’s ‘Fearless Fiction’ Award 2007; Waterstone’s Author of the Year in the UK, a Vermont Green Mountain Book Award, a Virginia Reader’s Choice Award, the Abraham Lincoln Illinois High School Book Award, and a Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award. She wrote five issues of theWonder Woman comic book series for DC Comics. Her books are translated into thirty-four languages in thirty-five countries. Three — THE PACT, PLAIN TRUTH and THE TENTH CIRCLE — have been made into television movies. My Sister’s Keeper was a big-screen released from New Line Cinema, with Nick Cassavetes directing and Cameron Diaz starring, which is now available in DVD.

She and Tim and their three children live in Hanover, New Hampshire with three Springer spaniels, two donkeys, two geese, eight ducks, five chickens and the occasional Holstein.

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  1. mamabunny13 says:

    This sounds like something I would love reading. Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Sophia Rose says:

    Amazing story premise! Thanks for sharing your review!

  3. Madnzanymomma says:

    I love her books. Just bought this one and it’s sitting on my shelf waiting to be read when the semester is over.

  4. Donna Rondo says:

    sounds interesting to me

  5. Preciouss says:

    Great review here! I hope you can post more to surprise other people…
    Preciouss recently posted..Waterfront Key SingaporeMy Profile

  6. This really interests me a lot…Thanks for the idea…
    Rose37 recently posted..Hotel in PaigntonMy Profile

  7. Beautifully detailed review! thanks for sharing it

  8. That looks like a lovely book. I could definitely take a break from Dean Koontz horrors ๐Ÿ™‚
    Cindy recently posted..Obese USA – serious mentality problemMy Profile

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