Lone Wolf: Book summary and reviews of Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

Lone Wolf

A Novel

By Jodi Picoult

Lone Wolf
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2012,
    432 pages.

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Book Summary

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?

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Always insightful about human families, Picoult proves to be equally perceptive about animal ones." - Chicago Sun Times

"The mix of family emotion, medicine and courtroom drama in "Lone Wolf" will be familiar to fans of Picoult's Plain Truth and My Sister's Keeper. Compulsively readable, these earlier books infused anything-but-routine family drama with genuine plausibility. That right balance is missing in Lone Wolf. What's left is a pack of characters roaming out of control." - Denver Post

"Picoult’s well-developed characters, compelling story and authentic prose create a novel that many will undoubtedly call her best yet — which it just may be." - NJ.com

"Picoult doesn't quite capture the messy, churning emotion that comes in these situations. Edward and Cara are such tidy grievers and the conflict between them is too neat, too balanced for real life. But in fairness to Picoult, the aimless keening, the lamentations, the howling at the moon of raw grief would be out of place here, a fruitless distraction, and wouldn't serve the purpose she has for this book.... Picoult can be forgiven these flaws because aside from them, she makes Lone Wolf such a good read." - Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

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Reader Reviews

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Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Shelby
Amazing
This is one of the best books I have read in a while, I read it over and over.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Becky H
Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult
I loved the parts of this book that dealt with the wolves! I learned a lot about the pack: its members, their roles, their calls (howls), how they eat, etc.
The “humans” were just not as interesting, perhaps because Picoult has written this book before. (In MERCY, she tells of a mercy killing with many of the same themes found in Lone Wolf.) The slowly revealed lies and omissions of Luke and Georgie, and, most importantly, Edward and Cara make this book resonate with family drama over the bed of the badly injured Luke.
Joe, Dannie Boyle, Helen Bedd and Zirconia are interesting characters that I hope make further appearances in Picoult’s books.
Picoult writes fiction drawn from headlines with sympathetic characters that tug at emotions AND she does it well. You will find yourself trying to decide “what would I do” in a similar situation. She is careful to make all options appealing and defensible.
The final chapter of this book offers an additional dollop of “what is really happening here” that animal lovers will find intriguing.

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Author Information

Jodi Picoult Author Biography

Author photograph by Gasper Tringale.

Jodi Picoult is the bestselling author of the following 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), Sing You Home (2011). She is also the author of Wonder Woman: Love and Murder (a collection of Wonder Woman #6-10). In 2003 she was awarded the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction.

She was born and raised —happily—on Long Island… something that she believed at first was a detriment to a girl who ...

... Full Biography
Author Interview
Link to Jodi Picoult's Website

Name Pronunciation
Jodi Picoult: jo-dee pee-coh

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