"Leaving Time" The Latest Novel from Jodi Picoult

A child's search - two unlikely allies are enlisted to help

Jodi Picoult is known for her books that tackle social justice issues and that are told from multiple perspectives. Her latest, "Leaving Time," [Ballantine Books, $28], to be released next month, tackles the controversies of mental illness, with the theories of elephant cognition and the powers of a psychic thrown into the mix.

The reader follows the story of Jenna Metcalf, a 13-year-old girl whose mother mysteriously disappeared when she was only a toddler, and whose memories of her stem from her mother's research journals that Jenna constantly pores over.

A psychic who uses her powers to help Jenna find clues about her mother's whereabouts is an interesting addition to Picoult's melting pot of characters. Picoult also explores the tumultuous journey of living with someone with a mental illness.

The side stories involving elephant cognition add an interesting element to the story though can sometimes be distracting from the main plot. The book is a page turner, however, and the multiple perspectives, flashbacks and themes involving love, family and determination put readers on a roller coaster ride that has them wanting to peek ahead to the final twist


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