Leaving Time is that kind of book that comes with all the expectations and not just because it is by a prolific and highly successful author. It is also because it sees the return of a character which previously featured in a short story by the same Jodi Picoult and although my feelings on that short story were mixed at best it was still a joy to meet that character again. Serenity Jones, genuine psychic or ‘swamp witch’ hack comes to the aid of 13 year old Jenna and the only private investigator she can afford with her meagre pocket money, as they try and get to the bottom of her mother’s disappearance tens years previous.
Centred on the study and care of elephants, both in the wild and in captivity, the amount of research and therefore information that is piled into this story is fantastic whilst also circling around the comparisons between the indelible bond between mother and child in both elephants and humans. I would recommend this book solely based on the fascinating information on elephants if it wasn’t for the fact that the story was so intriguing and had managed to swallow me whole. The combination of the two has led me to race through this book and now I am feeling a little lost. In regards to the aforementioned expectations, if you have read anything about this book before now you will be aware that there is a big fat twist, so I am not spoiling anything when I say that I really did not see that one coming and I imagine to read it all again with that information up front would have the potential to completely change the dynamic of the read. If I didn’t think that life was a little too short for rereading books I would probably be tempted to give it another go. This one definitely goes up there with my other favourite Jodi Picoult book, The Pact.