Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Lone Wolf

Rate this book
A life hanging in the balance…a family torn apart— New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult tells an unforgettable story about family secrets, love, and letting go.

On an icy winter night, a terrible accident forces a family divided to come together and make a fateful decision. Cara, once protected by her father, Luke, is tormented by a secret that nobody knows. Her brother, Edward, has secrets of his own. He has kept them hidden, but now they may come to light, and if they do, Cara will be devastated. Their mother, Georgie, was never able to compete with her ex-husband’s obsessions, and now, his fate hangs in the balance and in the hands of her children. With conflicting motivations and emotions, what will this family decide? And will they be able to live with that decision, after the truth has been revealed? What happens when the hope that should sustain a family is the very thing tearing it apart?

517 pages, Paperback

First published February 28, 2012

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Jodi Picoult

109 books76.2k followers
Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-eight novels, including Wish You Were Here, Small Great Things, Leaving Time, and My Sister’s Keeper, and, with daughter Samantha van Leer, two young adult novels, Between the Lines and Off the Page. Picoult lives in New Hampshire.

MAD HONEY, her new novel co-authored with Jennifer Finney Boylan, is available in hardcover, ebook, and audio on October 4, 2022.

Website: http://www.jodipicoult.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jodipicoult

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jodipicoult

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
19,216 (24%)
4 stars
29,100 (36%)
3 stars
22,981 (28%)
2 stars
6,368 (8%)
1 star
1,827 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,645 reviews
Profile Image for Kylie.
13 reviews4 followers
November 29, 2015
Let me start by saying, I love Jodi Picoult's novels. I've read 13 of them, most of which were thoroughly enjoyable (with only a couple of notable exceptions--Songs of the Humpback Whale for one). I'm always excited to see when she's written something new and can't wait for it to come into print. When I've read or listened to interviews she's given, I am always amazed that she writes all of her novels in about 9 months. For the most part, you would never be able to tell they are written so quickly.
However, Lone Wolf was the exception. Not only was this book not enjoyable, it was physically painful to read. It was one of those books that you read 150 pages in, decide you don't really like the book, but feel like you have to finish it just because you've already put so much effort into reading it.
To me, it feels like she just didn't have enough time to really get at the heart of the novel. The characters were underdeveloped, the voices stagnant, and the plot unrealistic. One of my favorite things about reading a novel by Picoult is her use of voice. In this novel however, the voices of each character were so similar as to be indistinguishable from one another. If there weren't names at the beginning of each chapter, I would have said this was a first person omnicient narrator.
Furthermore, the plot was at times contrived and at other times wholly unrealistic. The "surprise" ending was so poorly done that it was truly unbelievable.
The only redeeming quality of the book, for me, was the information about wolves. I found her research to be fascinating and wished more could have been incorporated about them.

I didn't enjoy this book. But I do love other novels by Jodi Picoult and would recommend many of them. Hopefully, the next novel will be better than Lone Wolf.
Profile Image for Katie.
99 reviews8 followers
March 21, 2012
I was pretty disappointed with this book. To be honest though, I thought the same when I read the excerpt Jodi Picoult published months (maybe even a year) ago on her website. But I gave the book a chance because Ms Picoult is one of my favorite authors.

I guess the main problem with the book is that, unlike her previous books, the characters in "Lone Wolf" are boring and stale. Jodi Picoult's books are known for their intricate plots and well-developed characters. Her story-lines are typically not so predictable as this one. From the beginning of the book, you can basically tell how it will end. The characters in "Lone Wolf" are hardly developed. Usually her characters are complicated and are intertwined with each other in so many ways and angles. For example, Picoult gives a little information for the character of Helen Bedd. She provides a "cute" explanation to the origin of her name (mainly I think because she heard it in a joke and wanted to throw it in) and has her briefly interact with both Cara and Edward - meetings with no impact to the story. Her "appearance" in court reads like a letter - the character doesn't actually "speak" to the judge. No other information is given. If Helen Bedd was given more of a background and role in the story, she wouldn't be such a throw-away character. Unfortunately, her main characters are not much better.

It seems to have been hurriedly put together with not much thought. The original plot is intriguing but Picoult does little to expand on the idea. And that's a shame because she is an excellent writer. The first word that comes to my mind when I think of "Lone Wolf" is "half-assed."
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews41 followers
August 11, 2020
Lone Wolf, Jodi Picoult

Lone Wolf is a 2012 bestselling novel by American author Jodi Picoult.

The book was released on February 28, 2012 and centers around a man returning to his childhood home after a terrible accident.

Edward Warren has been living in Thailand for nearly 6 years when he receives a frantic phone call: His estranged family have been injured in a car accident in NH.

Warren's father is comatose and his sister, Cara, is also injured. Cara still holds a grudge against Edward, since his departure led to their parents’ divorce.

In the wreckage of the ruined marriage, she’s lived with her father – an animal conservationist who became famous after living with a gray wolf pack in the Canadian wild. It is almost impossible for her to reconcile the broken man in the hospital bed with her vibrant, dynamic father.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و پنجم ماه جولای سال 2015میلادی

عنوان: گرگ تنها؛ نویسنده: جودی پیکولت؛ مترجم: مژگان دوانی پور؛ مشخصات نشر: بوشهر، یمین و ثمین، 1393، در 541ص، اندازه 21س.م در 14/5س.م، شابک 9786006796222؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی سده 21م

درباره ی پرونده ی پزشکی یک بیمار، با ضایعه ای مغزی، و تصمیم‌ گیری در مورد پایان درمان او، از دیدگاه اخلاقی، و عاطفی، و جنبه‌ های قانونی این مشکل، سخن می‌گوید.؛ در این داستان آمده: «لوک وارن»، بیولوژیستی نام آور است، که بر روی گرگ‌ها پژوهش می‌کند.؛ او و دخترش، «کارا»، یک شب دچار تصادف شدیدی می‌شوند.؛ پسر «لوک»، «ادوارد»، شش سال پیش، پس از مشاجره با پدر، خانه را ترک کرده، و در «تایلند» زندگی می‌کند.؛ همسر «لوک» نیز از ایشان جدا شده، و زندگی تازه ای تشکیل داده است.؛ «لوک» دچار آسیب مغزی شدید شده، و پزشکها باور دارند، که بهبود پیدا نمی‌کند.؛ حالا «ادوارد» به عنوان نزدیک‌ترین فامیل «لوک»، مجبور است در مورد قطع درمان‌های حمایتی پدرش، و اهدای اعضای او تصمیم بگیرد.؛ «کارا» مخالف قطع درمان‌های حمایتی است، و منتظر معجزه‌ ای است تا پدرش بهبود پیدا کند. و ...؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 20/05/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Nenette.
854 reviews51 followers
March 17, 2012
Whatever type of drama-family, medical, courtroom, even wild animal drama...this book has them all, with Jodi Picoult's signature all over it.  It may be that her books has a certain mould, a template, but she gets published only once or twice a year so if you're like me who waits to read the latest, you can liken it to waiting for Christmas.

There's always something new to learn in her books. In Lone Wolf, there was of course the wolf lessons, both about them and from them.  There were the briefs on the law.  Most importantly, there were family and relationship lessons.

I highly recommend this to anybody who is willing to listen and to feel; to those who highly value their familial relationships; to those who have at one time or another have walked out of his pack, but who have found and earned his way back.
Profile Image for Lexy.
1,030 reviews24 followers
October 18, 2016
Oh, my god, this book is so amazing it made me want to cry at the end of this book I really loved this book
Profile Image for Leeann.
834 reviews27 followers
March 20, 2012

Eh. Just Meh.

Jodi, Jodi, Jodi.. I know you don't write just for me.
But my heart is breaking a little bit.
You used to be my favorite author.
I bought your books, even in hardback, which is a rare thing for this frugal girl to do.
Sight unseen, I'd buy them, because I just knew they would be good.

About four books back or so, I began to feel they were becoming formulaic.
The twists were predictable, the tearjerkers at the end became cheap and redundant.
I hoped for more. I still believed.

With these last two books, though, my belief is fading.
You've been relegated to being an author I put on reserve at the library.
I still get excited, and hopeful, but in the end I'm usually just glad I didn't spend twenty-five bucks for the read.

I miss you, Jodi, and I think you've still got it.
I'm waiting!

In regards to Lone Wolf itself, it just didn't do it for me.
I couldn't get into any of the main characters at all. Not the mom or the stepfather or the brother or the sister.
I did enjoy the parts about Luke, which surprised me b/c I expected to like those parts the least.
It's my understanding from seeing reviews on Amazon that this book was not well researched and wolf-lovers are all up-in-arms about the lack of research and correct wolf information. I don't know enough about wolves to have an opinion on this issue.

This is not a book I would want to pick up and read again. LOVE the early Picoult books though!
Profile Image for guiltlessreader.
369 reviews118 followers
February 19, 2012
This is one of those books where I started doubting if the whole wolf allegory would mess up the storytelling ... But it was an essential part of the whole reading experience. Amazing piece by Picoult. Full review coming soon!

Originally posted on my blog Guiltless Reading

Jodi Picoult's powerful stories are not new to me. So when I saw that her latest novel Lone Wolf was up for grabs in Goodreads, I didn't think twice. And so I was among the lucky ones who got an Advanced Reader Copy!

My thoughts: The story revolves around a man who was in an accident, lying comatose in the hospital. That man is Luke Warren, a passionate zoologist, who had put his "human" life on hold and went to live among the wolves in the wild. He had returned to an alienated wife and two kids, Edward and Cara. Georgie divorced Luke and made a new life for herself, marrying a lawyer and starting a new family. Cara stayed on with her father. Edward fled the country, and his family.

Now faced with medical decisions needing to be made, Edward, the prodigal son, returns at the request of his mother. Seventeen-year-old Cara, figured in the same accident as her father, but escaped with only minor injuries.

The story revolves around the difficult decisions that family members must wrestle with, in their lives together, and their future together. The already strained dynamics of a family in crisis becomes a legal battle as each one believes they know what's best in the interest of Luke Warren. Moral and legal questions come to fore: Who should make critical medical decisions - someone who is legally of age, or who knows that person's wishes better? Who determines when to cut off life support? What if the patient wants to donate their organs?

The book's chapters shift with the characters, with first-person viewpoints, making for very interesting reading. You''ll hear it from Georgie, Cara, Edward, and from Luke himself. You'll notice this through the change in font type (which I must point out is quite annoying to read), the tone of voice, and simply the whole difference in perspectives.

The story comes to a dramatic and tragic close, with family members coming out better for the experience.


Ok, so now for the wolf part. The title intrigued me. The cover looked rather literal, but I figured it would have a metaphorical treatment. I was pleasantly surprised that the use of wolves was both literal and metaphorical. And that is what I feel has made this book stand apart. Jodi Picoult based her story on a true story, that of renowned wolf researcher Shaun Ellis, also known as the Wolfman. His research has fed into Luke Warren's accounts of his life with wolves, from the science-y side as well as from the vulnerable human side.

I have been asked many times what made me choose this path in life. I think part of it was that animals have always been straight with me, but humans haven’t. But the other part is that I don’t take no for an answer very easily.
- p. 60 (page may change), ARC of Lone Wolf

Picoult has a tender way of drawing parallelisms between wolves and humans - insights about family, loyalty, and other distinctly traits we come to think as human - which made me wonder at how complicated we've made our lives.

There's an honesty to the wolf world that is liberating. There's no diplomacy, no decorum. You tell your enemy you hate him; you show your admiration by confessing the truth. That directness doesn't work with humans, who are masters of subterfuge. Does this dress make me look fat? Do you really love me? Do you miss me? When a person asks this, she really doesn't want to now the real answer. She wants you to lie to her. After two years of living with wolves. I had forgotten how many lies it takes to build a relationship.
- p. 342-343 (pages may change), ARC of Lone Wolf

I learned so much about humanity through wolves. Quite amazing to accomplish through a book!

Verdict: Amazing piece by Picoult. Beautiful, powerful storytelling about family life. Be prepared for the insights about wolf life; the whole wolf allegory is essential part of the whole reading experience.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jo Anne B.
235 reviews18 followers
March 4, 2012
2.5 stars

I am a big Jodi Picoult fan. Her books are easy to read quickly and involve family dynamics. She always seems to do a lot of research on a wide range of topics in order to bring controversial issues into her books to keep them a little more cerebral than other chic lit authors. However, the subject matter in this book was intangible for me. A guy who preferred living with the wolves than with his wife and two kids? It seemed far fetched and a unrealistic. First, why would a woman want to be with a guy like that, let alone marry him, have kids with him and then stay with him after he left for two years to go be with the wolves? The wolves clearly ranked higher than his family in his book. I didn't like any of the characters either because they were all so selfish, felt sorry for themselves, and were too cowardly to do anything about their situations. No one wants to deal with anything in this book. They all run away from their problems leaving them all unresolved. I only liked this book for Jodi Picoult's excellent writing and the interesting information about people being brain dead vs. in a vegetative state.

Each chapter is narrated by alternating characters. Luke's are all written in italics because he is in a coma. His were the most boring and ridiculous of the book. I did not care about any of the information about wolves and their packs. I especially didn't 
Iike any of the wolf proverbs before many of the chapters. It was shoved down our throats enough that wolves are so wise and all knowing. I doubt any wolf acres more about humans than the other wolves. Luke cared more about them then his family because he fit in better with the animals. This guy just seemed crazy. The only reason he comes back to be with humans is because they don't love him back. They treat each other the way they do out of duty rather than love. Which is weird because that is how he parents his own kids.  Here he is giving all this information about how wolves parent their young and he tell us all the hierarchy in the wolf pack yet he himself sucks at being a parent. What little parenting he does is always related back to what wolves would do in their kids' situations. I guess the reader is supposed to be impressed by how intelligent the wolves are and all the lessons humans can learn about themselves by studying them. But all of that is lost because Luke never incorporates those into his own life. Oh wait, he does though when he has sex with his wife but is too rough like a wolf that he hurts her and bruises her skin all over. He fails at his own life. He abandons his kids and goes to live with wolves. Pretty good parenting there huh? Is that what a wolf would do? This guy was so full of bs that I didn't want to read any of his chapters. And he was the one in a coma that we were supposed to care about. I thought they should have given him to the wolves so they could take care of their own.

I hate when authors play the reader for a fool by purposely holding back information in the form of secrets that the characters won't yet be ready to reveal the answers to until they have worked through enough to comes to term with them and then finally be able to tell the reader about them. Only at the end of course! This is the cheapest writing tactic and it is insulting. We are left wondering for the whole book what really happened in the car accident with Cara and her father and what did Luke say that was so awful to his son Edward that caused him to run off to live in Thailand forever at 18 leaving only a note behind. This is all done to string the leader along to make them stay til the end. It is unfortunate that Jodi Picoult feels she has to do this despite thinking her reader intelligent enough to read about medical jargon such as "he had a temporal lobe hematoma and subarachnoid hemorrhage, an intraventricular hemorrhage that produced an incipient herniation." 

Everyone was so bad at being in a family in this book. Obviously we have Luke who leaves his to go be with the wolves for two years. Cara has her brother arrested and charged for murder because she wants her voice to finally be heard in this family.  Georgie remarries and purposely has new kids in order to try to do it "right this time". These people are so irresponsible that I never felt sorry for them or wanted them to get what they wanted. They deserved it. It is sad that I felt like that too because there were very important family issues and topics in this book that should have mattered but didn't because of the awful characters.

I did like how ironic it was that a guy who preferred to be with the wolves because they had to deal with real issues such as life and death rather than deciding what cereal you want for breakfast is himself stuck between life and death in a coma. 

A good take away from this book is that people need to discuss with their loved ones what they would want to happen to them if they were brain dead and if they would also want to be an organ donor. 
Profile Image for Suzzie.
915 reviews162 followers
December 4, 2017
This was so captivating! You ask yourself so many questions about life, death, family, love, hate, and betrayal along with loyalty. I could not put this book down but had to for emotional stability lol. When I came back to it today, I read it nonstop until the end. I believe there are so many dynamics to family and relationships that we do not contemplate into faced with them head on because they make us uncomfortable and force us to ask questions about people we love and ourselves that we just would rather not. The aspects of animal and human behavior entwining and even separating in this book is phenomenal.

Overall, a great story with a strong emotional feel. Highly enjoyed this reading experience!
Profile Image for Stephanie (Stepping Out Of The Page).
465 reviews221 followers
February 22, 2012
As soon as I heard about Jodi Picoult's latest novel, I just had to get my hands on a copy. When I did receive a copy from the publishers, I just couldn't wait to get started on it! Whilst I haven't read them all, I've read most of Jodi Picoult's novels and I've really enjoyed them, giving her a firm place in my favourite authors.

I'll start by admitting that I was slightly wary of the 'wolf' aspect of this book. Whilst I love animals, I'm not usually keen on reading about them and I have had no interest in wolves before. Still, I really wanted to read it just because of the author. Thankfully, once again, she didn't let me down!

Picoult does go into detail about wolves as they play a huge part in the novel, as you can expect simply from the title. I never felt overwhelmed by this information though - it became very fascinating and it's clear that a great amount of research went into the writing. I was extremely impressed with how Picoult formed the story - the recollections of Luke's time living with wolves worked extremely well in parallelling the events that were happening in the present. However, this book is not just about wolves - It is also about relationships, loyalty and family. It's also a novel about deciding what is right, not only for yourself, but for others. It's about letting go of perceptions, beliefs and people.

There are several important characters, the main ones being Luke, Cara, Edward, Georgie and Joe, which we get to hear from as they independently narrate. Luke is the father of Cara and Edward, as well as the ex-husband of Georgie. He is our central character in this novel as the story revolves around him. After a car crash with his daughter, he is left in a coma and it must be decided what to do - turn off the machine that is keeping him alive so that his organs can be donated, or keep him alive and wait for a miracle? We learn more about Luke through accounts of his time living with wolves and through the thoughts and actions of his children and his ex-wife. Even after completing the book, I am still torn on my thoughts regarding Luke, but I think that it's a good thing that the author still has me thinking, even after I've finished reading.

All of the characters that we are introduced to are deeply complex and have had so many experiences that have shaped and affected them. They each have distinctive voices opinions and it is interesting to see how they all interact. Picoult is fantastic at portraying the characters that she has created and allows us to really get to know them and feel their emotions.

Picoult has a formula that she knows works - she crafts realistic stories, adds twists and turns, throws in well written arguments for both sides of often controversial topics and manages to come up with stories that have an impact upon you.
If you liked her previous novels, there's no doubt that you'll enjoy this one just as much. If you haven't read any of her novels before, I promise you that you are missing out! I'd have no hesitation in recommending this book to anyone. This is yet another astonishing piece of writing from an incredibly talented author and now I'm impatiently waiting to see what she can offer us next!
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,379 reviews138 followers
December 11, 2020
It took me longer to get into this one than usual with a JP book however a few chapters in and i was so engrossed.

The story line is epic as they usually are in these kind of morale dilemma books but all the information about wolves tied into this made it exceptional for me.

Probably the first JP book where I've 100% agreed with the ending!
341 reviews3 followers
July 30, 2012
I am a big fan of Jodi Picoult and have read most of her books. So I was pretty sure when I picked this one up I would enjoy it. And enjoy I did...as usual there are fascinating characters that she draws you into, revealing more of them bit by bit till you feel you know and maybe even understand them. That is one of the defining elements in all her writing. But in this book I got something extra and I think you will too. I learned a lot about wolves, and how they live, and how that pertains to how we live, our very character as humans; what makes us different and remarkable, and what makes the animals so wonderful in their own right. And are we so far from the animals in behavior? Or is it just our interpretations of or reasons for the behaviors that are different?
The book makes you think about these and other questions,including what is a family? How do we make our families and it helps us realize not just humans have this thing called family . It's a book about love, animals, and how humans try to make their way in a world not all that far removed from our animal companions on this earth.
Well worth reading.
Profile Image for Marilena ⚓.
631 reviews75 followers
June 13, 2018
Αυτό το βιβλίο συνδυάζει τις ανθρώπινες σχέσεις με μια αγέλη λύκων.
Χρειάστηκα λίγο χρόνο μέχρι να καταλάβω την ιστορία και ειδικότερα την σύνδεση με τους λύκους αλλά εξελίχθηκε πολύ καλό.Ευτυχώς που το συνέχισα :P
Profile Image for Jessica Mandrik.
36 reviews1 follower
March 8, 2012
I was very disappointed with Lone Wolf. Of the 5 or so characters we met, I felt only emotionally invested in two of them (Luke and Joe) and only minimally at best. In past novels by Jodi she has done such a good job at making you feel something for the characters that you are emotionally invested in their futures and the outcomes of their situations. This was not at all true with Lone Wolf. I felt very little for Edward, nothing for Cara, and Georgie was just kind of "there".

I enjoyed reading about the wolves. It was by far the best part of the book. It made me identify with Luke and I learned some new things I didn't know. I had empathy for Joe who was put in the middle of a terrible situation.


So the big "gotcha" moment is that you find out that Luke cheated on Georgie and terminated a pregnancy of one of his girlfriends. Here's the thing though - I don't buy it. It is against everything we leared about Luke. It felt very out of place for his character, so Jodi either did a terrible job showing us who Luke really was, or she just stuck it in there for the shock value. And what an AWFUL excuse for Edward to take off to Thailand.

I hate downing Jodi because she did have me once. I was hooked at one point, and would have considered her my favorite author. I just don't feel that anymore. I keep waiting to be captivated like I was with My Sister's Keeper, the Pact, Plain Truth, or Salem Falls. It just hasn't happened in a very long time now. I don't know if the books are coming out too fast or what it is, but it is definitely affecting the quality of the work. I'm going to keep hopeful and I will keep reading her books waiting to feel that again.
Profile Image for Michele Harrod.
523 reviews47 followers
May 15, 2012
Well I was always going to love this, being a book about wild animals and a man who struggles to find a balance between a life with them and a life with humans. There is no instinctive driver I can relate to more.

Whilst the leading character, Luke Warren himself is 'absent' (in a coma after an accident), we hear his voice throughout the novel, and come to understand that the man who seemed to be the underlying cause of all that was broken in this family, is perhaps the one who has been teaching them how to actually function as a family all along. Packed with the usual twists, and the heart-rending consequences of unspoken truths and buried secrets.

I love that Picoult has used fiction to share so much about the behaviours of wild animals and more importantly, their motivations - which is would seem are rather different to ours. In my second year of a Bachelor of Applied Science in Animal Welfare, it was a special pleasure to be able to read a novel while I should be studying, and assauge my guilt because it was so topic related!

I was deeply moved by the emotions that raged through these family members, and the analogy that ran through it all - of our need to learn to live like a wolf pack to thrive as a family. We would do well to learn much more from our fellow earthlings - who never act in spite, never take more than they need, share with every member of their pack, are not driven by ego, have respect and reverence for other packs, and who understand the intrinsic value of every player in their team.

My greatest struggle in studying animal behaviour, is the underlying principle that humans have evolved to something 'grander'. I hope one day, when humans adopt similar values to those in the animal kingdom, we will see evidence that this is truly the case.
Profile Image for Vhernalyn.
24 reviews17 followers
January 4, 2013
Almost 5 years ago, I had to watch my mother deteriorate on life support for a month. This book was a painful but somehow therapeutic read. It hit me so close to home but what I liked the most about it is how genuine everything felt from the visits to the ICU, the meetings with the doctors, and the pain of the uncertainty of a parent's recovery. The daughter Cara is 17 years-old and I was 18 years-old when I had to go through something very similar with the parent I was closest to. The grief she felt was so real it brought me back to the times I was in the ICU myself. At the same time I understood the anger Edward had toward his family and having to be the older sibling (which I am also) as well as the one burdened by dark family secrets. This book is special in that I literally understood how these characters felt so much that I was empathizing rather than sympathizing. I think Mrs. Picoult did an amazing job in capturing the emotions of having to watch someone you love hang in the balance of life and death with no way of communicating back to the ones who they love and who loves them most. I felt the outcome was realistic and there are a lot of thoughts the characters had that I shared as well. It's a tearjerker especially for those who have experienced it firsthand but I'm glad I got to read it because it's a story I won't forget.
Profile Image for Sharon Metcalf.
735 reviews166 followers
April 26, 2020
3.5 rounded up

I've lost count of the number of Jodi Picoult books I've read but I keep returning for more because she's such a terrific story teller. Her books always pack an emotional punch and her themes and plot lines are varied. It's always evident to me just how much research she dedicates to her novels and Lone Wolf was no exception. Though this one was not my favorite, it was still an enjoyable read and I'll continue working my way through the list of her titles I've yet to read.

In explaining why it was not my favorite I can call out a couple of specific reasons. Far from being formulaic, there's usually a major twist in the offing in Picoult's books. In this case either I picked up the scattered clues far more astutely than normal or it was a bit predictable. I'd love to think it was the former but fear the latter. Secondly, there were a couple of elements that pushed the limits of my belief, foremost the idea of a man integrating himself into a wolf pack.

Luke Warren was the character around whom the entire story revolved. For the duration of the story he's in hospital on life support with a dire prognosis. Prior to the accident, that resulted in daughter Cara being seriously injured and left Luke's life in the balance, he'd been larger than life, a bit of a celebrity (and in my opinion kinda weird). He'd dedicated his life to observing wolves, raising them in captivity, and at one point lived with the wolves in the wild, joining a wolf pack, hunting, eating, and living with them, leaving behind his family. His dedication to, or perhaps kinship with, the wolves caused the eventual unravelling of a previously close knit family. Son Edward left home at eighteen and cut off all contact with his father. Luke's wife Georgie divorced him and remarried, but daughter Cara continued to adore her father. When doctors advise the family it's time to make a decision on whether or not to continue life support emotions flare. Most of the story is dedicated to the battle between Edward and Cara, the siblings who have two very strong, opposing opinions on the matter.

As is often the case there was a legal element to the story, something Picoult does well. Her medical research seemed spot on and in terms of her research about wolves, she'd gone to great lengths. I learnt more about wolves than I could possibly imagine ever needing to know and was somewhat surprised at the many parallels between the wolves and humans. Though the part of the story about Luke living with wolves seemed extraordinary (far fetched perhaps) I was not all that surprised to learn that again she'd done her research. The character of Luke was fleshed out thanks to the real life experiences of Shaun Ellis, a man who actually did much of what Luke did. Overall, this was a good read with engaging characters and I'm sure it won't be all that long before I find my way back to her work once again.
Profile Image for Gedankenlabor.
788 reviews111 followers
July 10, 2021
>>Ruft man einen Wolf, ruft man das ganze Rudel.<<
(bulgarisches Sprichwort)

„Solange du bei uns bist“ von Jodi Picoult – eine Geschichte, die ich kaum mit Worten beschreiben kann, denn ich habe sie wirklich von Beginn an so sehr gefühlt! Im Fokus steht hier der Familienvater Luke, der hin und her gerissen zwischen seiner menschlichen Familie und seiner Wolfsfamilie steht. Zu den Wölfen hat er eine wirklich außergewöhnliche und sehr sehr besondere Verbindung, die mich auf vielerlei Weise sehr bewegt hat. Dennoch ist er sich seinen gesellschaftlichen Pflichten, vielleicht eher auch als Zwänge zu bezeichnen, bewusst und umso schwerer fällt es ihm seinen Weg zwischen beidem zu finden.
Ein tragischer Unfall zerrüttet hier einfach alles... und doch ruft es sowohl tierische als auch das menschliche Rudel zusammen und alles beginnt sich zu zerreißen, zu fügen und ist schließlich eine komplizierte und doch so besondere Symbiose, der ich mit ganzem Herzen gefolgt bin.
Neben den wieder sehr speziellen und sehr unterschiedlichen Charakteren gibt die Autorin dem Leser hier wieder so vieles mit an die Hand, worüber man nachdenken muss und kann, greift schwierige und sehr diskussionsreiche Thematiken auf und schaffte es für mich ganz persönlich ein perfektes Ende zu schaffen, dass mich zu Tränen rührte und etwas ganz einzigartiges in meinem Herzen hinterlassen hat.

>>Ich bin damals zu einer Brücke zwischen Natur und der Welt der Menschen geworden. Ich passe in beide und gehöre zu keiner. Die eine Hälfte meines Herzens lebte bei den Wölfen, die andere bei meiner Familie. Und um es deutlich zu sagen: Niemand kann mit einem halben Herzen leben.<<

Vielen lieben Dank Dani, dass du mir im Rahmen des „Pick my SuB“ dieses Buch ausgesucht hast, und somit mir und der lieben Leilani, mit der ich das Buch im #buddyread gelesen habe, eine ganz wundervolle und doch herzzerreißende Lesezeit beschert hast. 💖
Profile Image for Tiago | MrsMargotBlog.
154 reviews25 followers
April 5, 2016
This book brings us a reflection about the family and the commitment to it.
How a secret can destroy a family and like so many other secrets can cause almost irreparable damage. Luke, a naturalist obsessed with wolves and lives mainly for them, after an accident with her daughter Cara, he is in a coma. He also has a son who cut ties six years ago and that caused his divorce. Edward, his son, is the only close relative of legal age and with the power of decision to turn off the machines, because it lack the Cara three months to haver the majoritária. This question will generate many conflicts, sorrows unearth and reveal secrets. An interesting and moving story that is being told by the vision of the various characters and the Luke always making the comparison between human and the wolves behavior.
Profile Image for Cindy Vine.
Author 33 books35 followers
April 7, 2012
I'm a fan of Picoult's earlier books; so I pre-ordered this one and was looking forward to reading it. However, wolves don't do it for me. I don't care about the different roles in a wolf pack. So about half-way through I started skipping all Luke's wolf-talk chapters and only read the closing paragraph as that summed up the point Jodi wanted to get across in that chapter. Doing that definitely made the book flow more and kept me interested. If I didn't do that, I am not sure I would have finished it as the wolf bits slowed it down and were boring.
Luke, although in a coma throughout the book, was a despicable, self-centred ass in all the flashbacks and I kept hoping he would just die and stop the trauma it was causing his family. He wasn't a nice enough character to will to survive.
Cara was a narcisstic, self-centred, sneaky, lying, divaish brat and I had no feelings of sympathy for her at all.
Edward was so forgiving; I can't believe he forgave Cara for the sneaky stunt she pulled which made him end up in jail. But he was definitely the best of the bunch.
Georgie, hmm was a bit of an iffy character and needed to get some spunk and stand up for herself more.
Joe, he was the stand-out character in this book, the only one I really liked and connected with. The husband of Georgie, step-father of Edward and Cara, he did the right thing at all times and possessed far more wisdom than Luke ever had. Mind you, Luke got all his wisdom from the wolves and we all know how even Red Riding Hood and the three little pigs got the better of the wolf.
What made me keep reading this book, was because I really wanted to find out why Edward ran away to Thailand and what the true story was that caused Luke and Cara's car accident. The answers to those questions came at the end of the book!
This is not a bad read, especially if you like wolves, but there are better books out there.
Profile Image for Bodosika Bodosika.
258 reviews51 followers
July 12, 2017
The first book I read by this author is Picture Perfect and I was very disappointed because I have heard so much about the author however I was not deterred hoping that another of her book will tell me much about her hence this book.
This is an interesting family story and the subject matter is an uncommon one but the author managed to weave a family dilemma and how wolves and it's pack lives into a superb novel,This book made me to understand more about wolves and how organized they are including their sensitivity towards smell...I give this 4 stars.
Profile Image for Célia | Estante de Livros.
1,147 reviews229 followers
March 31, 2016
Os dois livros que já li de Jodi Picoult mostraram-me a capacidade que a autora tem em abordar temas polémicos, fazendo o leitor questionar-se sobre o que faria se se encontrasse na situação das personagens, enquanto transmite, de forma bastante conseguida, a existência de um limite ténue entre o que está certo e o que está errado. Lobo Solitário não é exceção: uma vez mais, estamos perante uma complexa trama em que um dos temas centrais é a eutanásia.

Luke Warren é um homem com uma paixão imensa pelos lobos, levada ao ponto de, a certa altura da sua vida, ter ido viver com uma alcateia selvagem durante dois anos, deixando para segundo plano a mulher e os dois filhos. Alguns anos depois, no início do enredo, Luke e a filha Cara têm um acidente de automóvel que deixa Luke em coma e com o prognóstico muito reservado devido a graves lesões cerebrais. É então que o seu filho mais velho, Edward, decide regressar da Tailândia, para onde tinha ido depois de desentendimentos familiares ocorridos 6 anos antes. A mãe de Cara e Edward, Georgie, havia-se divorciado de Luke pouco tempo após Edward ter saído de casa.

Quando Edward chega perto do pai e percebe que há muito poucas probabilidades de sobreviver vivendo de uma forma digna, chega à conclusão que a melhor opção será deixar que a sua vida acabe, terminando o suporte artificial de vida. Só que a sua irmã Cara é terminantemente contra e tenta, por todos os meios possíveis, evitar que o pai a deixe; Cara agarra-se à possibilidade de um milagre, entrando em conflito com o irmão e acusando-o de não ter direito a tomar essa decisão por ter estado tanto tempo longe.

É em redor deste drama familiar que a narrativa gira, avançando suportada pelos pontos de vista das personagens principais, incluindo os de Luke, que narram as partes principais da sua vida até ter ocorrido o acidente. Sempre que chegamos aos pontos de vista de Luke, entramos no fascinante mundo dos lobos, da forma como vivem em sociedade e das regras existentes numa alcateia. O paralelismo entre Luke e um lobo é complementado com aquele que se traça entre a alcateia e a família, em que os lobos vivem para o todo, que é maior que a soma das suas partes.

É através do cruzamento de todos os pontos de vista que a dinâmica do livro se concretiza, levando o leitor através das suas páginas sempre com vontade de avançar cada vez mais. Jodi Picoult não desilude, proporcionando ao leitor um drama realista que o confronta constantemente com os seus valores em que acredita. E é por este envolvimento que cria com o autor que este livro se tornou numa leitura viciante, que mal consegui largar. Recomendado!

Muito se tem dito sobre o olhar de um lobo-cinzento. É direto, ponderado, misteriosamente humano. O lobo nasce com olhos azuis, mas, passadas seis ou oito semanas, ficam âmbar. E se alguma vez tiverem a sorte de olhar um lobo nos olhos, sabem como são penetrantes. Olham-nos, e nós percebemos que eles estão a tirar um instantâneo de cada fibra do nosso ser; que nos conhecem ainda melhor do que nós próprios.
Profile Image for Margitte.
1,177 reviews539 followers
July 23, 2016
Accidents and family dynamics are like identical twins. A painful experience to one, brings forward similar pain in the other, and that is what happens in this book.

Luke Warren transcends from human existence into 'wolfdom', leaving his real family behind. When he is involved in a serious accident with his daughter, Cara, and ends up in a vegetative state, the divided family's pot of secrets and hurts gets cooking. The two siblings have to make a decision but cannot agree on what would make their father happy and which decision will reflect his own. While their stories are told, Luke's own story weaves through it all as a replay of his life between the wolves in Canada.

There are so many great reviews of this book, that I do not want to indulge much.

A little bit slow-moving, fascinating, yet a bit far fetched. The hero is the biggest anti-hero of them all, which in my opinion, lends a believable trail throughout the narrative.

Since the book aims to raise awareness for wolf research, it is understandable that the plot and theme would want to stir emotions and leave the reader to reconsider their attitudes towards wolves. It worked.

It was a good read indeed! It took me more than two weeks of sporadic reading to get it finished. But in the end I am glad I persisted and will read this author again, for sure.
Profile Image for Brian.
1,693 reviews42 followers
August 24, 2016
A new Jodi Picoult novel. Let's go through the Jodi Picoult checklist, shall we?

Family Drama? Check!
Courtroom scenes? Check!
Twist Ending? Check!
Lots of angst? Check!
Oddly named characters? Check!
Told from different perspectives? Check!
Social issue? Check!

This book really wasn't great. I didn't care about the wolves, nor the family, and the last 100 pages made me just skip to the end, which wasn't impressive.
Profile Image for Maria Lavrador.
412 reviews34 followers
May 30, 2016
Mais uma vez a escritora não desilude com mais um livro onde um dilema nos faz ver os 2 lados da questão. Se no inicio podemos tomamos partido de um dos lados, ao longo do livro ficamos sempre balançados com os sentimentos e emoções descritos. E em jeito de bónus, ficamos a conhecer melhor a vida dos lobos, confesso que pouco ou nada sabia sobre estes animais, pelo menos menos com tanto pormenor
Profile Image for Karina.
849 reviews
October 13, 2017
I learned a lot about wolves here... too much.. related it to the main character and his life. Was a good read but it became too long and too much at times. Wouldn't read again but was good once.
Profile Image for Shelleyrae at Book'd Out.
2,489 reviews516 followers
March 30, 2012
Lone Wolf has all the elements I would expect from Jodi Picoult, controversy, ethical conflict, and courtroom drama. Luke Warren is severely injured in a car accident and lies comatose in hospital. His estranged son returns from Thailand after a seven year absence to be at his father's bedside, to the disgust of his younger sister. Cara Warren is seventeen, too young to make medical decisions for her father and resents Edwards authority. When Edward makes the painful choice to discontinue life support, Cara accuses him of wanting to kill their father and seeks a legal order to stop him. The emotional battle will reveal the secrets of the broken family as the siblings each seek to honour their father in their own ways.

The story of Lone Wolf unfolds through alternating chapters from the perspectives of the main characters, Luke, his children Edward and Cara, ex wife Georgie and briefly, Helen, the court appointed Public Guardian.
Cara, who was also in the accident, is devastated by her fathers injuries and unable to rationally consider his medical status. Having lived with her father for the past five years she feels she should have the right to choose the path of her father's care and with the naivete of youth is determined that life support be continued indefinitely, convinced a miracle will occur. Cara deeply resents Edward, blaming him for the break up of their parents marriage and is irrationally convinced that Edward hates Luke and wants him dead.
Edward left home at eighteen after a fight with his father, allowing his mother and sister to believe it had to do with revealing his sexuality. Luke's motives were actually more complicated and he has kept them hidden by keeping his distance from the family. Returning home forces him to face the consequences of his estrangement.
Georgie is torn between the needs of her children, her ex husband and her new family. She wants to support both Cara and Edward but the decision they face doesn't allow her to.
While a large part of the novel concerns the issues of the withdrawal of life support, organ donation and medical guardianship it is also about who Luke and his wolves, though Luke remains unconscious during the entire book. Luke is a wildlife biologist with an obsession for wolves. His unusual study methods including living with a wild wolves in Canada and feeding from raw carcasses with his captive pack. The information Picoult shares about the wolves is interesting and she neatly relates it to her characters but Luke's behaviour can't help but strike you as a little bizarre. I also cynically wonder if Picoults choice of wolves to feature in this novel comes from the commercial appeal of their paranormal counterparts, particularly as Lone Wolf has a YA slant.
For me, there was nothing terribly bad about Lone Wolf but neither was there anything remarkable. I felt at times that Picoult favoured melodrama over real passion, the issues seemed to be little more than a surface debate and the plot was too contrived. Unfortunately the characters also largely left me cold. I was sympathetic, but Cara acted half her age and Georgie just sort of flapped around ineffectually. Of the three I liked Edward the most but there were a few incidents he was involved in that didn't work for me as plot points.

I think fans of Picoult will be left distinctly underwhelmed by Lone Wolf but its an accessible title for a younger audience and a reasonably quick read as the typeset is quite large. The marketing drive is certainly quite extensive so I would expect that despite my opinion Lone Wolf will quickly appear on the bestseller lists.
Profile Image for Lisa Vegan.
2,802 reviews1,235 followers
June 1, 2012
Much thanks for Goodreads’ friend Shomeret for telling me about this book. One thing we have in common is our love of wolves. I hadn’t known about this book and I wasn’t necessarily currently in the mood to read another book by this author, but I’m so glad I read this one.

I love wolves so I was particularly interested in this book. I’m also interested in the right to die (which I’ve been engaged in conversation about at another one of my book reviews), quality of life, decisions about prolonging life, organ donation, etc. that are among the issues this book addresses.

It’s definitely a Jodi Picoult book. I do like the way each character is their own narrator, and how the story is told from different points of view. There is her formula, one that I’m now expecting. So, from early in my reading of the book did I guess correctly what was going on?: partially but definitely not mostly. With Picoult I know there will always be at least a couple twists, but I don’t always know exactly what they will be. I don’t want to like her books but so often I do. I resent those twists but I also find them fascinating. Here the wolves were the most compelling part of the story for me, more than any of the human characters, although I found them interesting too. I love the lone wolf theme throughout and the information about lone wolves in the wild.

I didn’t appreciate her brief passage re rights activists. They would not deliberately poison captive wolves; most would protest, maybe as close as possible to the site, and send letters; if they were radicals they might try to free the pack members, or those outside the norm might commit vandalism or try to harm the person or person’s who’s responsible for the captive wolf pack, but they would not try to kill the captive wolves. I’m definitely irked at that tiny part of the book! Most readers will probably barely notice the anti-animal rights people stance but it was glaring for me.

The information about wolves had me riveted. I’ve loved wolves ever since August 1976 when I read Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat, and I’ve loved dogs my entire life.

Though there aren’t many, the included illustrations are lovely.

I wasn’t wild about the very last entry. Possible spoiler:

I love at the end how there is an author’s note about the Wolf Centre and Foundation and mentioning the book The Man Who Lives with Wolves, a book I do want to read, and also a note about resources for organ donation.

Some quotes:

“Scars are just a treasure map for pain you’ve buried too deep to remember.”

“You know what the difference is between a dream and a goal?...A plan.”

“Because when someone leaves your life, there aren’t words you can use to fill the space. There’s just one empty, swelling minor note.”

and there are so many more, although in this book the storytelling is more of a strength than the writing itself.
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,517 reviews8,975 followers
April 4, 2012
Luke Warren finds it easier to live with wolves than with his own human family. His son, Edward, has resided in Thailand for the past five years after having a fight with his father, and his wife, Georgie, has divorced him. Now he only resides with his seventeen-year-old daughter, Cara. But after a devastating car accident leaves Luke comatose and Cara injured, Edward is forced to come back to the states and choose with Cara whether or not his father should be taken off life support. Edward and Cara's conflicting attitudes toward their father makes the decision difficult, and the things that they will do to get what they want could tear their family apart forever.

Staying true to her style, Picoult creates another well-written novel centered around a controversial issue that involves a tension-filled court case. I had never put much thought into life support and vegetative states before reading this book - at least not as much as I do other issues - but Picoult does a good job balancing the medical jargon with simpler terms that the average reader will understand. Her trademark skill of showing multiple sides and incorporating plenty of pathos shines in Lone Wolf once again, and I could not put this book down by the midway point.

However, this book was not as fantastic as some of her others. I did not connect to the characters as much as I wanted to, though I did care for them at a surface level. Similarly I was not enamored with the wolves, but I enjoyed how she interconnected their side of the story to that of the main characters. I caught a few minor errors - for example, on one page she writes that a character is crying for the first time in a long time, but on the page before that the character had just cried.

Though not her best book, Lone Wolf will immerse readers and most likely please fans of Picoult's other works, as well as those interested in wolves. Recommended.

*cross-posted on my blog, the quiet voice.
Profile Image for Laura.
722 reviews106 followers
July 21, 2016
A gripping yet touching story about the ethics of life and death. Hardened fans won't be disappointed and all readers will hopefully encouraged to consider their own views on mortality.

When brilliant naturist Luke is horrifically injured in a car accident leaving him in a vegetative state, his family are left to make decisions for him, including the most serious of all - should he continue live artificially or should he die? Luke's two children, Edward and Cara, hold opposing views for what they each believe their father would want. While their mother and lawyer stepfather try to support each party equally, ultimately this difficult situation causes friction and family tensions surface.

As with most Picoult novels I've read, I thoroughly enjoyed this. It shines light on a difficult topic - when does life begin and when does death start? I was forced to consider my own beliefs on artificially continuing life as opposed to allowing someone a peaceful death. As a nurse, this is a topic close to my heart.

Another brave triumph for Picoult. I hope she continues to write like this for years to come.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,645 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.