Jodi Picoult has become a modern literary master, releasing 18 novels including Lone Wolf, which came out earlier this year.
Seventeen year old Cara Warren’s parents divorced when she was 11 because of her older brother, Edward. Since then, she has been living happily in New Hampshire with her conservationist father, Luke, who studies wolves. However, one night her life is shattered when a car accident lands both herself and her father in the hospital. Cara is injured badly, and Luke slips into a coma with no end in sight.
Meanwhile, the accident draws Edward back to New Hampshire from Thailand, where he has lived for five years. Once home, he is informed that Luke has made no progress, and that there’s little chance he will ever recover. Although Edward hasn’t spoken to his father in years, as the only child above eighteen he has to make the difficult decision of whether to keep Luke on life support or let him go. However, Cara has a secret that plagues her with guilt, and she vows to fight her brother as long as possible to keep their father alive. Edward has secrets as well that could potentially break Cara’s heart. Thrown into the mix is their mother Georgie, who is stuck in the middle of this terrible power struggle between her daughter and son. In this story about family, deceit, and human conscience, Jodi Picoult tells a tale of a man’s life among the wolves and his family’s grapple with his fate.
By following multiple viewpoints Picoult tells this story from all angles, and she does it well. The story flows from Cara to Edward to Luke’s memories of living with his wolf pack seamlessly and almost without any effort. The underlying comparison between the wolf pack’s dynamics and those of Luke’s family is really thought provoking, as is Picoult’s obvious moral dilemma- how do you reconcile the right to die with the wishes of the family left behind? Whatever the answer, this is a wonderfully pensive account of one family’s struggle with life’s hard decisions.