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Book Review

March 8, 2012
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‘Lone Wolf’

Courtesy of Beaverdale Books

Review by Barb Palar

By Jodi Picoult

Atria Books



432 pp

Author Jodi Picoult is a master of telling stories of families torn apart by tragic circumstances. Her most renowned works deal intelligently and sensitively with the emotional and legal issues surrounding life and death. Her latest, “Lone Wolf,” is no exception. Luke Warren is the first lone wolf in this story — a researcher who has studied wolves his entire life. He finds himself alone, a victim of a devotion to his career, which includes a series on Animal Planet. His wife Georgie was feeling abandoned and left him, remarrying. His son, Edward, who is gay, fled the country and his father’s disapproval at age 18. Edward is suddenly called home when Luke is injured, along with his 17-year-old daughter Cara, in a car accident and the estranged family is left trying to decide whether to pull the plug. Cara, the only family member who has stuck by her father, believes he will survive, and brings in a right-to-life lawyer. Edward perhaps more realistically believes that hope is futile but struggles out of his guilt for abandoning his family. While the human drama, as in many of Picoult’s tales, is gripping, well-researched wolf lore is the heart of the story. The reader is pulled along emotionally by Edward’s legal obligations toward his father, but we become just as passionate about Luke’s other family — the pack of wolves to whom he devoted much of his life and energy. Luke’s integration with his pack is so complete that they accept him as one of theirs to replace a lost member. CV

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