Tuesday, April 17, 2012

{read: Medical drama} Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

*spoiler alert* I used to love Jodi Picoult's books, but her more recent ones seem to have fallen into a pattern. While the elements of her storytelling style remain the same (multiple POV, ethical dilemma ending in legal battle), her prose in her recent novels seems too pat and cliched. I miss the more creative Jodi of Perfect Match, Salem Falls, Keeping Faith, and Plain Truth.

This is yet another medical drama, although it is an adult and not a child with the medical crisis. Luke, a man made famous because he lived with wolves for two years in the wild, has a severe brain injury from a car crash. His estranged son comes home from Thailand to decide what to do, but his 17-year-old daughter, who has been living with him, disagrees with the decision to end life support. (He is divorced, but of course his ex-wife married a lawyer who ends up representing the son in the legal drama.) This is typical Picoult fare. While I was disappointed in its lack of creativity, it is very readable and I had a hard time putting it down. It has an epilogue that at first confused me until I realized it was from the POV of one of the people who received an organ donation from Luke. I liked that unexpected twist for a few minutes, until I realized that if this newly saved 19-year-old kid follows the wolf into the woods when he's already lost (it just feels right, he says, and the wolf somehow seems to recognize him), he's going to die because he won't have his meds and he'll reject the kidney. Perhaps this is what Picoult intended, but it seems a little too dark to go with the rest of this book.

Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult (Atria, 2012)
My rating: 3 stars

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