Your mother often said you were born in a barn.
That’s because it seemed like you were always going ape, laughing like a hyena and horsing around. Surely, you drove her batty until she didn’t think she could bear another minute of you, but secretly, Mom probably didn’t mind. She knew you were healthy as a horse and, really, one look at those puppy-dog eyes and your monkeyshines were always forgiven.
You were a wild child, and then you grew out of it – much to the relief of your loved ones. But in the new novel Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult, Luke Warren embraced the animal in himself and in doing so, he destroyed his family.
Luke never really wanted fame.
As a biologist, he never thought he’d write a book or become a TV star. Reticent, almost hermitlike, Luke really wanted his research to help people understand that real wolves aren’t like the ones in fairy tales. Wolves have a unique culture, an explicit way of communicating, and family is everything. They’re also more afraid of humans than humans are of them.
Luke knew that because he lived for two years in the Canadian wilderness with a pack of wolves.
Edward Warren remembered those years without a father; how his mother, Georgie, cried and how his little sister, Cara, missed her daddy.
Edward was fifteen then, and Luke had burdened him with a man-of-the-house talk before he left, handing Edward the financial reins and making him sign a scrap of paper that gave the boy medical power of attorney.
Wanting neither, Edward did his best. But shortly after his father returned from Canada, shortly after he told his mother he was gay, Edward left home, angry, vowing never to return.
Cara Warren barely remembered Luke’s absence, but it didn’t matter anymore.
After her parents divorced, Cara lived with her mother but favored her father. Everything she knew, she learned from him. Compassionate, smart, wise and patient, he adored her and he adored his wolves.
But that was before the accident.
That was before doctors said that Luke would never regain consciousness, before Georgie called Edward home.
Before Edward decided that it was time to let his father go peacefully.
Filled with well-rounded characters you come to feel as though you know personally, Lone Wolf is comfortingly typical of author Jodi Picoult’s other works.
Each person is allowed to tell his or her own story; there’s a pivotal issue around which they all revolve; and there’s a tantalizing, hidden “hook” you know is there but that you hate to see.
What’s different about this novel is that one of the characters tells his story from a unique place. That’s unexpected, and I also won’t tell you why the ending was a sweet relief. You’ve got to find out yourself.
And if you’re a member of Jodi’s Pi-cult, that won’t be a problem at all.