Social issues just her style

picoult INLSA Jodi Picoult with her latest novel Lone Wolf at Books and Books in Durban North last Wednesday. Pictures: Meneesha Govender

It is evident Jodi Picoult has a massive fan base in Durban – the modest bookstore at Kensington Square, Books & Books was bursting at the seams with customers eager to meet the engaging writer, who had the audience hanging on to her every word about wolves, howling and even terminating a life.

More than 200 people attended the event and despite having a busy day at other book events around Durban, a visibly exhausted Picoult happily engaged the audience on her new book, howling with some and answering the many questions directed at her.

In true Picoult style “Lone Wolf” (Hodder & Stoughton, R135) is a novel that deals with difficult social issues in an unusual and gripping way. I have not finished the book yet but I am completely captivated.

Edward Warren is the prodigal son who left home at the age of 18 after a fight with his charismatic and rather famous father, Luke.

His departure is the cause of much turmoil in his family and ultimately leads to his parents’ divorce, for which his sister, Cara, never forgives him.

Five years later Edward is living in Thailand when he receives a call that his dad is lying comatose in hospital after being involved in an accident.

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By this time, Cara is the loyal 17-year-old daughter who has been living with her father after her parents divorce.

All Cara wants is to keep Luke on a ventilator and pray for a miracle that her vibrant father who is famous for living with a wild wolf pack in the Canadian wild will wake up.

But Edward wants to terminate life support and donate Luke’s organs.

But who has more of a right to make the decision – Luke who is of legal age but is estranged from is father and may be seeking revenge in pulling the plug? Or Cara the loyal daughter who is not yet of legal age to make an informed decision?

The moral question of organ donation also comes up in the novel – can we justify hastening the death of one person in order to save the life of another?

“Lone Wolf” promises to be the compelling and thought-provoking read that Picoult inevitably delivers. Get your copy soon.


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