Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is known as a writer for her portrayal of human relationships in all their complexity. Lone Wolf tells the story of Luke Warren, a biologist celebrated for his assimilation into wolf pack culture, now comatose after a severe head injury sustained in a car accident. His son Edward, estranged from Luke for the past six years, wants to terminate his father’s life support and donate his organs. His fiercely loyal 17-year-old daughter Cara holds out hope that her father will recover. His ex-wife Georgie, now remarried, tries to support both her children in the bitter legal battle that ensues between them. The narrative voice alternates between the four members of the family and occasionally shifts to minor characters.  These multiple points of view interact to create a rich portrait of the Warren family’s history, including Luke’s failings as a husband and father and the secrets both his children harbor. Picoult portrays her characters with depth, evoking the reader’s sympathy for all parties involved, which serves to realistically depict the tension inherent in many end-of-life decisions. The flashback chapters from Luke’s perspective contain a wealth of detail on wolf behavior, which serves as an extended metaphor for human behavior throughout the book. This compelling read will have you rooting for the members of this very human “pack” in their struggle toward forgiveness, understanding, and resolution.

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