As usual, Ms. Picoult's books combine her artful talent of telling a story from all different characters' perspectives, to illuminating some type of moral or ethical dilemma. So on the one hand, this story is about family relationships, especially siblings, and about quality of life issues & euthanasia.
But the backdrop for the story is this fascinating character who has lived among wild wolf populations. As a biologist, this was mesmerizing to read about, especially when you find from the forward and acknowledgements that she loosely bases the character on a real man, Shaun Ellis.
Picoult's books are always a fast read - her multi-perspective writing really keeps the pace moving well, but the background story made it hard for me to put down. Possibly one of my favorites by her, not so much for the "wow factor" at the penultimate plot twists (normally a nice plus in her books), but for the great combination of her writing style and her characters this time around.
I'm not sure why I didn't connect with the characters of this book but I didn't. I guess the reader is expected to sympathize with an irrational, emotionally unstable teen OR her arrogant, selfish and indulgant father. I found myself in Joe's corner even though I don't think he really had one. I appreciated the difficulty of his situation more than any of the others.
As for the "pack", I appreciated the first 50 pages of wolf research, but it lost luster with me pretty quickly.
I've read at least 4 other novels by this author and usually have to prepare myself emotionally before I dive into one of her stories. She can usually get an emotional rise out of me a few times before the end, but this one just had me feeling like she was using wolf factoids as a filler to make this book a novel.
Loved this book!!!! I've read all of Jodi Picoult's books and she never disappoints!!!! She always writes about serious issues and adds a twist at the end that you never see coming. I can't wait for the next one!!!