LEAVING TIME by Jodi Picoult, narrated by Rebecca Lowman, Abigail Revasch, Kathe Mazur & Mark Deakins

LEAVING TIME is one of those punning titles that I love about Jodi Picoult novels. To me, a woman who grew up in Britain, it sounds as if Ms. Picoult is talking about a public house (or pub), those last orders for drinks. But this whole novel is all about leaving, loss and grief, and there is one specific incident at the heart of the novel, when so much tragedy occurs, that “Leaving Time” becomes an apt way to describe it.

The Mass Market Paperback version, showing a young woman who could be either Jenna or Alice (her mother.)

The novel opens in the voice of 13-year-old Jenna whose mother disappeared 10 years before shortly after a tragic accident. One moment, Alice Metcalf was in hospital recovering from her wounds. The next, she checked herself out and went…god knows where.

Jenna, a smart and astute 13-year-old is determined to find her mother, whom she believes to be still living. But how is she going to locate her? She lives with her grandmother, who is determined NOT to revisit the past, her father is institutionalized in a mental hospital, she lives in Boone New Hampshire and most adults are going to be skeptical of a 13-year-old.

And so she turns to a disgraced psychic and a burned-out jaded former PI.

It is going to be hard for me to continue talking about this novel, without revealing the plot twist that upends it, so I will simply say that if you are tired of Jodi Picoult novels that end in the courtroom, and want something in which the characters themselves becomes their own detectives, this novel is for you. Five stars.

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