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Leaving Time

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  109,855 Ratings  ·  13,130 Reviews
Number One bestselling author Jodi Picoult returns with her compulsive new novel - about the lengths we go to for those who have left us behind; about the staying power of love; and about how three broken souls might have just the right pieces to mend each other.
Jenna Metcalf was with her mother the night she disappeared in tragic and mysterious circumstances, but she reme
Hardcover, 402 pages
Published November 4th 2014 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published October 14th 2014)
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Michelle Barbara,
You might want to read the e-book novella "Larger than Life". This tells the story of Alice in her childhood and college years and her…more
You might want to read the e-book novella "Larger than Life". This tells the story of Alice in her childhood and college years and her decision to go to Africa to study elephants. You get a clearer picture of Alice's mother's (Jenna's grandmother) personality and the conflicts between the two of them. Jenna's grandmother is not portrayed as a very warm person. There is also a 2nd novella "Where There's Smoke", and it tells Serenity's story about the senator's missing son that was the ruin of her career. One of them (can't remember which) is free on Amazon, and the other is only a few dollars. Hope you enjoy them.(less)
Myrtle Siebert I have enrolled with the Afterword Reading Society sponsored by National Post. Each week members across Canada have the opportunity to request a copy…moreI have enrolled with the Afterword Reading Society sponsored by National Post. Each week members across Canada have the opportunity to request a copy of the book to be discussed several weeks on. This is the first I've received of 3 requests. It came free and direct from Random House After reading I answered 7 easy questions, sent them in and will be able to read all the chosen answers next Tuesday. Try it.(less)

Community Reviews

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Rating details
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May 27, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Okay friends. You know I'm not one to write slam-type reviews. But there is just one way to describe this book. I have never used this phrase before and I hope to never use it again. But honesty is my highest priority here on Goodreads, and I have to say it. This book was a HOT MESS. Avoid this mess of a book, which was about elephants, psychics, and who knows what else, because I got to page 170 and threw the thing across the room. I know there is supposed to be some sort of amazing twist endin ...more
Susane Colasanti
The most brilliant, moving, emotionally resonant novel I've read in a long time. Loved the elephants. Loved the intrigue. Once again, Jodi Picoult brings the magic!
Michele Coleman
This newest Jodi Picoult left me a little dazed and confused. Picoult used to be one of my sure bets for a great read and no one quite wrote like her. This being said, I'm not really sure what direction Picoult has been going recently.
Leaving Time was such a mixture of characters, stories and subplots that for me just didn't flow. Maybe if I was an elephant fanatic I would of found it more interesting. To me it was like putting a nonfiction learning experience into the middle of a novel. Throw
Dale Harcombe
Jul 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I rarely read books about psychics, ghosts and the like. But this was Jodi Picoult so I was always going to make an exception, as she is a favourite author. As soon as this book arrived I put aside all others waiting here to read this. One of the reasons I find her books interesting is she usually makes me think about an issue, and look at it from more than one position. Even when I do not agree with her stance on some subjects (and I sometimes don’t) at least she makes me stop and think and co ...more
Barbara Escher
Oct 31, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The author became so caught up in her mission to spread the word about the plight of elephants that she forgot about the plight of readers who expect a good story. The end was full of cheap tricks to finish it off so she could tell you more about elephants. If that's what I wanted to read, I'd have chosen the National Geographic. Some of the writing is brilliant, lyrical, heart stopping. That only makes it worse when you get to the end and feel like she's stuffed a page of marvel comics in to fi ...more
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
--This review is based on a galley, an unpublished version of this book--

We all have things that we may do over and over again but question why we do them. Sometimes we just can't help it! This is the case with me and Jodi Picoult. We began our relationship when I read Salem Falls and was happy with the characterization and the twisty plot. I read My Sister's Keeper. I read a bunch more. And started to realize that she loves using courtroom scenes with a surprise twist. Somewhere, later in Jodi'
Emily Crowe
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I've averaged my rating: all things elephant related are 5-stars, with the people stuff being 3-stars. Picoult uses her trademark multiple points of view to good effect in this novel, which has more heart than some of her recent novels.

If you're not enthralled with elephants the way I am, you probably won't feel the emotional attachment to this novel that I did, beginning with the Alice's first section, written by the scientist doing field research on elephant memory and their grieving process.
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Thirteen year old Jenna Metcalf is determined to find out what happened to her mother, Alice who disappeared from her life when she was just three years old. Alice was a scientist who studied elephants in Botswana, Africa from there she went to New England Elephant Sanctuary. Jenna was eleven when she started actively searching for her mother, but getting someone to help her search would come at a cost, so she started taking up babysitting jobs. Jenna had asked her grandmother for answers, but s ...more
It's been a long time since I've picked up a Picoult novel. I enjoyed the first few I read, but then got worn down by how formulaic they were. Pick a topical moral dilemma, weave a story around it, throw in some court room action and hey presto a bestseller.

Given it's been awhile, I was surprised to find Picoult has strayed from that tried and tested formula. This book does not have a story worked around a moral dilemma, and there's no court room drama either. Instead, well, there's a bit of a m
Thirteen year old Jenna Metcalf had spent the last ten years of her life researching her mother, Alice’s life – learning everything she could about the mother who disappeared when she was only three years old. Alice was a scientist who studied elephants, first in Botswana, Africa then at the New England Elephant Sanctuary in the US, where both African and Asian captive elephants were able to live out the remainder of their lives in a natural habitat, free from the chains of bondage.

The Sanctuary
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Let me start off by saying if you don't REALLLLLLLY love elephants, don't even pick this up. The first 3/4 reads like a work of non fiction on elephant behaviors, strung lightly with a bit of, girl searches for her mom story. The last quarter gets more into the story and less into the comparisons of elephant to human, and does pick up, how ever Picoult always throws in an unseen twist, and this one did not leave me going, no way! Instead it left me going, oh no you didn't, unacceptable. That's a ...more
Dec 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since the "spoilers" button doesn't seem to work..

(view spoiler)
Alaina Meserole
And this is why I have a love/hate relationship with Jodi Picoult. I LOVED THIS BOOK.

I feel like maybe I was casually waiting for an amazing to come along and then it did! But then again I have been wanting to read every book that she has ever written and I'm slowly but surely knocking those books off of my TBR.

Other than that, this book had freaking ELEPHANTS guys! How could you go wrong with a book that included adorable freaking elephants?!? Long story short : you can't. Besides loving the el
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I were an elephant I'd trumpet Leaving Time.

Classic Picoult, Leaving Time is the story of a teen searching for her missing mother. Using her now familiar and equally comfortable format of multi-charachter point of view each character provides a piece to the puzzle of what lead to Alice's disappearance from the New England Elephant Sanctuary soon after a co-worker is trampled to death. The cast, Jenna, the daughter, Alice, the mother, Virgil, a cop, and Serenity, a psychic, all play their par
Maria Clara
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sencillamente maravilloso! Es uno de esos libros que se te meten en tu piel y logran cautivarte a través de sus protagonistas; de sus historias.
Jodi Picoult's Leaving Time features intertwining stories of past and present-day events related to an unsolved crime that separated a daughter from her mother. I adored the “past” events which focused primarily on the mother's post-doctoral study of elephant cognition. Learning about elephant behavior was my favorite part of the book, and I found it both heartbreaking and fascinating. The “present-day” events incorporated a mystery element investigated by an unlikely team of a discredited psych ...more
Maria Espadinha
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O Betta Splendens

O conhecimento em toda a sua vastidão é comparável às águas oceânicas.

E os livros?

Os livros são os peixes que nadam por lá enquanto ninguém se lembra de os pescar...

Há uns mais garridos, outros mais cinzentos.
Uns mais exóticos, outros mais vulgares.
Há uns que nadam dando voltas e reviravoltas e outros que nadam mais a direito.
Etc, etc...

Sempre que lemos um livro que até nem nos parece mau mas nos recorda outros anteriores , pescámos um peixe vulgarote, tipo sardinha ou carapau!
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jenna wants nothing more than to find her mother. We know she
disappeared from the New England Elephant Sanctuary. Jenna was only 3 years old at the time.

The narrator for "Leaving Time", for the character 'Jenna', (13 years old ... bright and feisty), is by a terrific voice *Rebecca Lowman*. Rebecca was the same narrator I fell in love with in the audible "Annie on My Mind". ( another audiobook I highly recommend).

A few other books Rebecca Lowman has done the narration are:
"The 19th Wife", "Da
May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, overdrive
Me listening to the final hour of the audio book:
Huh? Wait. What? No way! Hmmmm... OK... now it is all making sense... wow....

We are first introduced to the three female narrators, each in her own voice: 13 year old Jenna; her mother Alice, who ten years ago checked herself out of a hospital never to be seen again; and the down-on-her-luck psychic, Serenity, who Jenna hires to help find Alice. They have alternating turns at advancing the story.

I liked Alice's chapters least of all, and there we
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
I recognise Jodi Piccoult is a fantastic and prolific author, and have enjoyed a couple of her books before now. This novel did not attach to me in any engaging way at all, this is a very true 2 star rating.

The subject matter, elephants and the issues of psychic powers an afterlife, have never been of interest for me but I thought I'd like it nonetheless, having been leant it by my best friend.

I was neutral throughout, not loving, not hating. Virgil was my favourite character, and Jenna also.
MarciaB - Book Muster Down Under
“It does not matter who you are or what kind of personal relationship you’ve forged with an elephant: Come between her and her calf, and she will kill you."

Having read Larger Than Life, one of the prequels to this novel (the other being Where There's Smoke), I thought that I was prepared for what Jodi Picoult was going to present me with in this, her twenty-second novel, but boy was I wrong! In fact, she totally blew me out of the water with this one.

Told in two parts from the POVs of Jenna, Al
Marie Rossi
Oct 28, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
4.5 stars

Leaving Time delivers a "what the heck just happened to me I stayed up until 2 AM finishing this book and my brain has been blown to bits" ending, typical of Jodi Picoult. In her latest novel, Picoult writes from the perspective of Jenna Metcalf, a thirteen-year-old who has spent all her life searching for her mother, Alice, an elephant researcher who disappeared years ago. Jenna enlists the help of Serenity Jones, a psychic who specializes in finding missing people, and Virgil Stanhope
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
A thirteen year old girl, a dried up detective with a drinking problem, and a psychic walk into a diner...

Jodi Picoult has done it again! A couple different storylines merging together told from multiple character perspectives (in true Picoult style!). An elephant sanctuary sets the stage for this book, and I immediately fell in love with the stories surrounding the elephants and their histories- some happy, some tragic. Jenna Metcalf is searching for her mother- as she disappeared one night whe
Feb 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
FOUR STARS! According to the official Goodreads rating system this means “really liked it!” I’m good with that, although I had my doubts and uncertainties going into this one. I allowed outside influences to shape some preconceived notions and expectations in my head about this book before I even flipped open the front cover.

1) I love most of Picoult’s works, especially Handle With Care. Whenever I think of Willow on the ice on the backyard pond my eyes glisten with tears. This is my gold stand
Mohamed Al
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: روايات
في إحدى مقابلاتها التلفزيونية، سُئلت جودي بيكولت كيف تختار ثيمات رواياتها، فأجابت بأنها ربة بيت، كأي ربة بيت أخرى في العالم، لديها الكثير من الهواجس التي تؤرقها، وفي حين تختار معظم ربات البيوت الحديث عن هواجسهن في جلسات النميمة وهن يتناولن شاي الضحى، اختارت هي أن تحول هواجسها إلى روايات!

ففي بداية زواجها كانت ثيمات رواياتها تدور حول الحب وكل ما يرتبط به من خيبات، خيانات .. إلخ وحين أصبحت أمًا بدأت تكتب عن كل الهواجس والمخاوف التي كانت تؤرقها ما إذا أصاب أبناؤها مكروهًا لا قدر الله، وبينما كانت مؤ
Sep 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite writers. Since "The Pact" I've never looked back. I've read them all.

I can't always seem to get out what I love about a book. I hesitated on reviewing for so long because I feel my grammar and punctuation etc can often be lacking. I have seen some amazing reviews on here and it's hard not to feel sub-par lol. There will likely be mistakes in most of my reviews but I've decided who cares it's my opinion that matters in my own review right? yes? Well I guess tim
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys reading about elephant behavior, psychics
Alice is a scientist who studied grief among elephants in Botswana, then in an elephant sanctuary in NH. When Alice's daughter Jenna is 3 years old, an accident occurs at the sanctuary and she is never heard from again. Jenna has never stopped searching for her mother and when she is 13 years old, she enlists the help of Virgil, an ex-cop who originally worked the accident at the sanctuary, and Serenity, a psychic who no longer believes in her gifts.

I loved this book. I loved how the characters
May 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: made-me-cry
Oh. My. God. This book was incredible! I read this at the recommendation of Ginger and am I glad she did! It is incredible. This is a story about grief and family and healing and ---- elephants! I have always liked elephants - they are so incredible. The bonds they make, their ability to empathize. Did you know they are one of the few animals that can recognize that the reflection they see as themselves?

This book just grabbed on to my heartstrings and wouldn't let go. And the twist at the end? I
Carol Brill
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ordinary life and the spirit world overlap and collide, as does who and what is real versus mystical or imagined. Even for someone who is not usually a fan of ghost stories and mysticism, the writing and storytelling compelled the suspension of disbelief and acceptance of the unimaginable. And in the end an amazed and admiring gasp—“I did not see that coming.”

There are so many strengths in the writing and story telling in Leaving Time. Check out my full review at New York Journal of Books

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Jodi Picoult Book...: Leaving Time Reading Along (Spoilers Included) 80 1739 Jul 10, 2018 05:06PM  
what did people think of the ending? 18 208 Jun 22, 2018 07:42AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult--Starting May 15th 11 6 May 20, 2018 06:44AM  
Chatham and Mitochondrial DNA - help! SPOILERS 3 48 Feb 07, 2018 09:55AM  
Why was Jenna afraid of Gidean? 3 76 Feb 05, 2018 07:27PM  
Question about Jenna's Grandmother 31 1144 Feb 05, 2018 03:01PM  
  • The Escape Artist
  • The Right Thing
  • Little Mercies
  • Catching Air
  • A Long Time Gone
  • Don't Go
  • Fly Away (Firefly Lane, #2)
  • Truly Madly Guilty
  • Where They Found Her
  • Here's to Us
  • The Lemon Orchard
  • What Happened to My Sister
  • Outside the Lines
  • And the Dark Sacred Night
  • Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island
  • Looking for Me
  • The Homecoming of Samuel Lake
Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-four novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Small Great Things, Leaving Time, The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Between the Lines, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Her new novel, A SPARK OF LIGHT, is available in hardcove
More about Jodi Picoult

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“The moral of this story is that sometimes, you can attempt to make all the difference in the world, and it still is like trying to stem the tide with a sieve. The moral of this story is that no matter how much we try, no matter how much we want it … some stories just don’t have a happy ending.” 143 likes
“I think grief is like a really ugly couch. It never goes away. You can decorate around it; you can slap a doily on top of it; you can push it to the corner of the room—but eventually, you learn to live with it.” 89 likes
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