Leaving Time (with bonus novella Larger Than Life)

Leaving Time (with bonus novella Larger Than Life) by Jodi Picoult Book Summary

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A deeply moving, gripping, and intelligent page-turner about a daughter’s search for her mother, Leaving Time is Jodi Picoult at the height of her powers.

Includes the novella Larger Than Life

Throughout her blockbuster career, Jodi Picoult has seamlessly blended nuanced characters, riveting plots, and rich prose, brilliantly creating stories that “not only provoke the mind but touch the flawed souls in all of us” (The Boston Globe). Now, in Leaving Time, she has delivered a book unlike anything she’s written before.

For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe she was abandoned, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice’s old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts.

Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest: Serenity Jones, a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons, only to later doubt her gifts, and Virgil Stanhope, the jaded private detective who’d originally investigated Alice’s case along with the strange, possibly linked death of one of her colleagues. As the three work together to uncover what happened to Alice, they realize that in asking hard questions, they’ll have to face even harder answers.

As Jenna’s memories dovetail with the events in her mother’s journals, the story races to a mesmerizing finish.

Praise for Leaving Time

“Piercing and uplifting . . . a smart, accessible yarn with a suspenseful puzzle at its core.”The Boston Globe

“Poignant . . . an entertaining tale about parental love, friendship, loss.”The Washington Post

“A riveting drama.”Us Weekly

“[A] moving tale.”People

“A fast-paced, surprise-ending mystery.”USA Today

“In Jenna, [Jodi] Picoult has created an unforgettable character who will easily endear herself to each and every reader. . . . Leaving Time may be her finest work yet.”Bookreporter

“[A] captivating and emotional story.”BookPage

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Leaving Time (with bonus novella Larger Than Life) (Jodi Picoult) Book Reviews

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- Leaving Time5 star

Excellent. Learned so much. Fascinating. Best ever by Jodi Picoult. It’s a long book but didn’t want it to end.

- Dissappointing2 star

I have read Jodi Picoult’s books before and enjoyed them. This book is good in that it follows a mysterious disappearance and keeps you guessing. The ending is the problem. I will not spoil it except to say that it is a shameless rip off of an award winning movie. That movie was in turn a rip off of a Goosebumps book that I read to my son 20 years ago. Ms. Picoult is inventive enough to come up with her own story lines and should not feel compelled to “borrow” from others.

- Jodi Picoult’s “Leaving Time”5 star

I normally don’t review a book that I’ve read, preferring to keep my thoughts about it to myself. I’m this case, after reading Leaving Time, I felt compelled to say a few words. I like Jodi Picoult’s style of writing a lot. I’m no expert but she does a wonderful job of telling a story. One that moved me to tears at the end. The plight of the elephant is overlooked worldwide by many and through this story, Jodi Picoult was able to show how much feeling and intelligence they have; something similar to what other animals have that we coexist with on this planet. Thank you for helping me become aware of this through a pleasurable experience.

- Leaving Time5 star

Great read. Twisted ending I didn’t expect. I love it when that happens!

- Incredible book5 star

Could not put this book down. One of my favorites in a long time

- Leaving time1 star

If this book by Jodi Picoult didn’t have the elephants’ information within this story, I would not have completed reading it. This storyline is so convoluted and disconnected, even the characters within do not know what to do and/or are doing throughout. If this was supposed to be a love story (between characters), it is not. An extremely disappointing read, especially since it was written by a well known, popular Author. I have come to enjoy her books over the years but this would not even get one star. The star was necessary, so I could write and publish this Review. Margaret

- Leaving Time5 star

I was mesmerized and surprised. I wish that I had not yet read it so I could read it again and laugh and cry all over again as the author reveals the truths. This was pure art

- Read this book in 1.5 days5 star

I love Jodi Picoult as a 30 yo and have since I was a child. This book did not disappoint.

- Julie B Jones5 star


- Left me shocked4 star

Once again the ending shocked me. I couldn’t believe it. Definitely a good read.

- An Elephant of a Lie1 star

One of the worst books I’ve read in awhile. Poor character development - the drunk detective - check. Loony psychic - check. Crazy husband - yup. Precocious teen - you betcha. Then the plot takes a whippy u turn. I about threw my iPad across the room. Heard great things about Picoult. Greatly disappointed.

- SheilaKim5 star

I loved your book “Leaving Time’! Well written with a surprise ending. Moreover, was the education I obtained about the lives and sadly the plight of elephants. You are a special person for writing a compelling story, while at the same time educating your readers.

- Amazing!!!!5 star

This novel was absolutely amazing from beginning to end. It totally captures the essence of love between creature and human and spiritually. A must read.

- Leaving Time5 star

This book, like any book from Jodi Picoult, is amazing. I couldn't put it down.

- Great Read!5 star

I couldn't put this book down! Absolutely loved it!

- Leaving Time3 star

I loved the amazing elephant research, and the street-smart voice of Jenna. I did not like the ending at all. The switch between characters speaking was confusing and annoying, especially as most of them turned out to be figments of the imagination. As a reader, I felt robbed.

- I learn again5 star

I never understood the fascination people, culture, history had w/elephants. Now I realize how fascinating they truly are. Seriously I think we have so many familiarity traits. Always love the way Jodi twist and intertwined facts and fiction making for great reading. Next book please!!!!! Mahalo Jodi . Patti Moana huff Kauai, hawaii

- AMAZING5 star

What an amazing story!! KILLER twist, I learned a lot, and great fictional page turner too. Been a long time since I've read a book THIS GOOD! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

- Leaving time5 star

A must read! An exceptional ending that will leave your mouth gaping open! Beautifully written, engaging, couldn't put it down!!

- loved it5 star

Easy read, enjoyable, i like the science behind it, and the twist at the end. All of my favorite things in a book.

- Life-changing Read5 star

I have never written a book review before but gladly I will make "Leaving Time" my first. Me, being an animal lover and true believer in the supernatural, was able to absorb it all. Every emotion was distinguished. I just loved it. I've read most of her books and this might be my favorite

- Loved it5 star

Loved this book from beginning to end.

- Leaving Time4 star

I have read a ton of Jodi Picoult books and this one was really good, but it got a bit long at some points. There are a lot of facts in the book regarding elephants and I found myself skimming through those. And I thought the book was too long as well. The ending was incredible and totally unexpected.

- Snail5 star

Great book ! Should be a movie.

- Unexpected5 star

I'd like to think that I guess the ending of any mystery before the conclusion, but even though the author has planted clues all through the story, she absolutely surprised me! The story was one of her best, and the facts about the elephant culture made it twice the pleasure. If you have the slightest interest in paranormal, you will be delighted with this book.

- Leaving Time2 star

In the past I loved Jodi's books. Her writing has changed. I hesitated before I bought this one because of the elephant references that I knew I would encounter and not enjoy having endured the wolf references in her last book. I love animals but I don't want to be forced to read a bunch of information about wolves, elephants or whatever future species Jodi chooses to write about if I just want to read a good story without all the Animal Planet information thrown in. Please stop, Jodi!

- Excellent read5 star

Jodi Picoult has outdone herself with Leaving Time. It is a wonderful, moving story that you don't want to put down. It brought me to tears in several places -- something that isn't easy to do. I highly recommend this engaging, fascinating story.

- Jodi does it again5 star

Jodi has the formula for a great page turner. I have yet to read a book of hers that I did not love. Her books are easy to read, and hard to put down. This book had me smiling and crying. Only the really good books I find myself not wanting to finish because I don't want the story to end. This one has a great twist, in the spirit of other Picoult books. I did not see it coming until the very end. Awesome book!!!

- Spectacular!5 star

One of the best books I've read in a long time! Quite a page turner, the ending was very unexpected. Loved it!

- Tear wrenching5 star

Jodi is an amazing author. This book brought me to tears. Such research and dedication to the making of this book is present in the writing. Defiantly recommend to read. Especially if you have a mother daughter relationship!

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- Leaving Time1 star

I vow every time I read a Jodi Picoult book that I'm done, but this time I truly am. No more child endangerment and death, no more ridiculous wrap ups. DONE.

- Such a great book!5 star

Jodi Picoult is such a great writer and draws you into the story in just the first few pages. This book is no exception! I loved this story and the characters were so vividly written about, I felt like I knew them I would definitely recommend this book.

- Not what I expected.3 star

I Love Jodi Picoult and this book was not what I expected. All her recent books have animal metaphors. In this case it's elephants. While I find elephants interesting, it's a bit too much. She had wolves in a past book. I prefer her other books that had no animal themes.

- Picoult at her best5 star

There are no words....an excellent story for a master storyteller. And thank you for including the true story of elephant poaching.

- Leaving Time1 star

Could not wait for her to write another book. This is not what I expected from her. I can't believe I wasted my money on this book.

- Best Picoult Novel Yet!5 star

I have read all of Jodi Picoult's novels and "Leaving Time" was by far my favorite. The ending left me thinking about the characters and their stories for days after I finished reading. I could have never guessed the ending with all of the different twists and turns.

- Disappointing2 star

I have read most of Jodi Picoult's books and was extremely disappointed in this latest one. The story line was strained and the majority of the book was a treatise on elephant behavior. It was a historical perspective of elephants and an attempt at interjecting a plot was lost and most unsuccessful. I do not recommend this book...

- Leaving time!2 star

Even though I enjoy reading Jody Picoult's books I was very disappointed in her latest! It took more than half of the book for me to feel any relationship with the characters!

- Ugh1 star

This book was disappointing.

- Origami and Venn Diagrams2 star

While the story is different and original, you might as well read the first book on her reference list, The Elephant Whisperer, which is a true story. Picoult has just gotten too nauseatingly predictable with her metaphors or similes, as usual, she has an origami reference, and at least three unrelated references to Venn Diagrams, the Venn Diagrams of the elephants' footprints, the Venn Diagram of Alice and her husband. It just gets to be a bit too much. It's like she just loves her own writing so much that she lifts whole sentences and repeats them. New story, same words. A big disappointment. She used to be one of my favorite authors. Seriously, just feed all her sentences from all her books into a program and find the Venn diagrams where the sentences overlap and you'll have a whole new book.

- Leaving Time5 star

This was the best book I have read in a long time. Jodi Picoult, congrats. I have never been aware of elephants plight until now. Thank you so much for enlightening me. Keep on writing and I will keep on reading. You are a grea author.

- Beautiful5 star

A tale of the love of a child for its mother. The stories of the grief of elephants woven into separation and loss of humans. I loved it. Deeply moving. Great characters. Surprise ending. Highly recommend.

- Not yet done but in love.5 star

The first few chapters alone leaves me fully mesmerized. I've loved Jodi for years because her books leave me desperate for another. While Nineteen Minutes and The Tenth Circle are my personal favorites, the rest are all pivotal moments in my literature life. Thank you Jodi for the years of reading bliss!!

- Not at all what I was expecting5 star

I've read many Jodi Picoult books. I knew to expect the unexpected, but I did not predict the ending this book would have. I did not expect the knowledge I would gain that is true to existing elephant lives right now. This book was well researched and written in true Jodi fashion of bringing the characters to life and going on the journey with them.

- Jodi is such an amazing author..5 star

She never fails.. This new book takes you on such a journey. You get to the end, and you're not disappointed with the story one bit, you're just disappointed that you don't have more to read. I guess it's back to waiting.. For her next novel of course! I HIGHLY recommend this to everyone. Great story. Incredible twist towards the end. I actually feel like I've learned something. Love it. :)

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