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Friday, September 2, 2022

Lone Wolf

 The book I just finished is Lone Wolf.     Lone wolf Luke Warren studies wolf behavior and he leaves his already dysfunctional family for two years to join a pack in the Canadian wilderness and live with them.  Yes, that’s the premise upon which the tale rests. And to add personal drama he returns to civilization to end up in a car crash with his daughter. He suffers a head trauma and ends up in a near brain dead coma. His past is revealed in alternating chapters from his published memoir about living with wolves.

Should Luke be kept alive by artificial means? Is that what he would want?  Luke’s tween daughter and older runaway son disagree fiercely about the answers to these wrenching life or death questions.  This is the deadlock that is at the novel’s center. Ms. Picoult is not afraid to speculate into the future in  her novels.   All this make we wonder about where to draw the line. 
Do fiction writers have an obligation to ensure that the science they put into their novels is credible? Or does the creative license that writers enjoy mean that there's no such responsibility? What happens when a novelist explicitly notes that the work in question is based on trusted science, but scientists insist is it not? In this case it's a zoo, and Picoults “research” is based on a     wolf setting in England with human habituated animals.
Yes its fiction and writers can write what they want but wolves are often judged in our world by myths and legends rather than facts and reality. Little Red Riding hood still lives on as well as  The Big Bad Wolf….
Wolves are magnificent animals whose true-life behaviors are described in a series of books by scientist David Mech. If you want to learbr />
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n about wolves try him.  If you want a interesting novel try
 Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult….


Anvilcloud said...

I am remInded of Never Cry Wolf (Farley Mowat), both the book and the film. Of course, other than both staying with wolves for a time, there is no similarity in the stories. Never Cry Wolf was not fiction.

Barrie said...

Oh my. I haven't thought about Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat in years....until the commenter above mentioned it. I loved that book. Re Lone Wolf: This book sounds interesting. We have a wolf preserve in San Diego County. I've visited it a couple of times. Very interesting animals. Thanks for reviewing!

Lucy said...

I agree with Barrie that the book sounds interesting. When it comes to suspending disbelief where things like science are concerned, it depends on how well it's written and whether or not I care about the people or animals it affects. I can be convinced to believe some pretty far fetched ideas if it gets me to the ending I want. :)

Thanks for reviewing.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Jodi Piccoult always turns out interesting books but I am not sure this one appeals to me, Although like others I read the Mowat book years ago.

Sarah Laurence said...

Sigh. You are reminding me why I decided not to read this book, even though I've enjoyed other novels by Jodi Picoult. After studying wolf behavior and doing a wolf recovery internship for the non profit Defenders of Wildlife (protecting red wolves and reintroducing gray wolves to Yellowstone National Park), I am wary of books that distort the maligned wolf. I appreciate your questioning of science vs art. Great review!