Lone Wolf - Jodi Picoult

Synopsis: Edward Warren, 23, has been living in Thailand for five years, a prodigal son who left his family after an irreparable fight with his father, Luke. But he gets a frantic phone call: His dad lies comatose in a NH hospital, gravely injured in the same accident that has also injured his younger sister Cara.

Cara, 17, stll holds a grudge against her brother, since his departure led to her parents’ divorce. In the aftermath, she’s lived with her father – an animal conservationist who became famous after living with a wild wolf pack in the Canadian wild. It is impossible for her to reconcile the still, broken man in the hospital bed with her vibrant, dynamic father.

With Luke’s chances for recovery dwindling, Cara wants to wait for a miracle. But Edward wants to terminate life support and donate his father’s organs. Is he motivated by altruism, or revenge? And to what lengths will his sister go to stop him from making an irrevocable decision?

Review: I really truly love Jodi Picoult’s works. I bought Lone Wolf the day it was released just because I know I usually love her books (whilst some of them can be so-so, the others are amongst my favourite all time reads). Lone Wolf for me, was good, but not her best work in my honest opinion.

As far as the story itself went, the basic plot is about Luke Warren, a man who for me, reminded me of a cross between Man Vs Wild star Bear Grylls and the now deceased Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin (except substitute crocs for wolves and you’ll have a better idea of what I’m saying). Luke Warren lived for 2 years in the wild amongst a pack of wolves. Some would say he is a genius, others mad. But whilst he was there in the wild, he had a wife and two children that he left at home.

Fast forward and Luke is in a coma - his brain unresponsive after a car accident. His son Edward, now in his 20’s hasn’t seen his family for 6 years, having run away to Thailand after an altercation he had with his father. His daughter Cara was also involved in the car accident and is hospitalised. She is bitter that Edward is back, and blames him for the break up of their family. And Georgie, Luke’s now EX wife is bought back into the story. She’s now remarried (to Joe, a lawyer) and has two children to him - twins.

Messy right? Well it gets messier, because Cara is only 17 and not legally old enough to make any decisions regarding her fathers life. Georgie, being Luke’s ex gets no say - which leaves Edward. Who wants to take Luke off life support.

In typical manner of Picoult’s books, in comes the legal battle over the moral dillema. Take Luke off life support or wait and see if by some miracle he wakes up? This broken family becomes even more torn when family secrets are unveiled in court.

Overall the story itself was quite solid. I enjoyed alternating chapters from all the perspectives. Well.. most of them. I really didn’t enjoy the fact that Luke, in a coma, had a perspective. His stories were ALL completely about his time in the wild and living with the wolves. I actually really didn’t like his character at all to tell the truth. I feel he abandoned his family and neglected them when he was around. His chapters annoyed me, because I felt like it ruined the flow of the book… for instance, in the middle of the court case we’d hear from Cara and Edward back and forth and then it would be interjected with Luke talking about his time in the wild again. I just didn’t feel like it contributed anything to the story at hand at all.

That being said, that was all that I didn’t enjoy about the book. I liked that this ending was clear and defined as Picoult is known to have an “all or nothing” style of ending. I can’t tell you how many of her books I have read and gone “No! What happens?!”. Lone Wolf wasn’t like that, the ending I felt was really good.

4/5 for me because of the Luke Warren parts!

Rating: 4 out of 5

What do you think?

  • Melissa says:

    I had the EXACT same thoughts about the Luke parts — his narrative seemed to interrupt the flow of the story. About halfway through the book, I just started skipping his chapters altogether, and the storyline flowed much better without his interruptions!

  • Gilly Fraser says:

    Totally disagree with two previous comments. I’m mesmerised by Luke’s sections - his time with the wolves is captivating. A great portrait of a man possessed - and obsessed. I’m a relative newcomer to Jodie Picoult’s books - this is just my second. But I’m being drawn deeper and deeper into her spell - and not resisting in the slightest. She’s a beautiful writer and teller of tales - and few novelists manage to be both.

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