This is the first book I've read by this author but I found it somewhat disconcerting. There were two sections. Once the crash occurs, the author alternates the story of family members dealing with the tragedy with dialog by the hospitalized father who is unresponsive to medical attempts. The father was a renowned naturalist who studied and lived with wolves. He became a highly sought after authority on wolves and his comments are about his experience with wolves. On the other hand, his son and daughter disagree about whether or not life support should be disconnected because his prognosis is so bleak.
At first the technique of the alternating sections seemed appropriate but as I read more, the more uncomfortable it became. Finally, I felt that there were two books. Each was well written but attempts to link the two seemed awkward.
Was the author attempting to get inside the mind of a man whose surgery would make him forget some memories? Was she trying to link his own book to the tragedy of his children who disagreed about his future? I wasn't certain. And, as I read the author's comments I wondered if the author was just using a technique to write a book that she thought would appeal to readers because she had read one about a man who lived with wolves? I was never quite sure so I rated the book only three stars. Some may find this technique interesting but I did not. However, Picoult writes well and both sections were easy to read. I just wish she had written two different books or had approached the topic in a different way.
Luke Warren studies wolves. He has placed them above all things in his life including his family. When tragedy strikes and a life decision should be made, Who should make it? His daughter who has lived with him for the past 4 yrs. She is only 17 and lives with him because her parents are divorced and her mother has a "new" life. Or his son who left home 6 yrs ago after a disagreement with his father?
This book takes place in New England but does not interact with any of her characters we have met in prior books.
I could have skipped over the father's journal entries and still been happy with the book. There was information there and it let you get a glimpse of who he was. I was thinking the daughter's secret was going to be better. I was disappointed when I found out on page 413. The son's secret was better.
I really enjoy Picoult's writing.
If you want to read her books in order:
Songs of the Humpback Whale: A Novel in Five Voices (1992)
Harvesting the Heart (1993)
Picture Perfect (1995)
The Pact (1998)
Keeping Faith (1999)
Plain Truth (2000)
Salem Falls (2001)
Perfect Match (2002)
Second Glance (2003)
My Sister's Keeper (2004)
Vanishing Acts (2005)
The Tenth Circle (2006)
Nineteen Minutes (2007)
Change of Heart (2008)
Handle with Care (2009)
House Rules (2010)
Sing You Home (2011)
Lone Wolf (2012)
Between the Lines (2012)
The Storyteller (2013)
Picoult does not disappoint. As with all her stories, this is an emotional one. It is a battle between siblings and ends with a powerful message.