Book review

Leaving Home

wpid-img_20150904_082620.jpgLeaving time by Jodi Picoult was last month’s book club title though it has been around for a while. I was first inspired to read it after listening to an interview on Radio 2’s book club. Even  my hubby tuned in to hear her talk about the elephants’ reaction and behaviour to death and grief. We were in awe of elephants’ intellect and emotional intelligence.The conversation encouraged you to want to discover more about these obviously underestimated mammals. I was intrigued about how the story would unfold with the relationship between the 3 main protagonists as they join forces to reveal the truth of the events on the night a carer died in an Elephant sanctuary. Jenna is a 13 year old on a mission to find the truth behind her Mum’s disappearance as a way to deal with her loss, Virgil is an alcoholic ex-cop dealing with his loss of career and Serenity is a quirky, once famous psychic finding her way in the world without her psychic abilities. Their stories are cleverly entwined in the experiences of  wild and captive elephants and story of Jenna’s mum, Alice.
It is well researched with twists and turns characteristic of her books. The characters are complicated and deep with back stories that influence their actions. These lead to consequences for others. The topics she chooses often have ethical or moral dilemmas as their base which causes the reader to consider their beliefs and feelings. This tale focused on grief and loss so a box of tissue is  definitely needed. It challenges your beliefs on psychics and you can not help but be touched by the experiences of the elephants. You walk away from the book with great respect for these majestic creatures, wanting to raise awareness of their plight.

   baby ellies

It was a perfect book for book club as it can trigger discussions on loss, grief, elephant protection, poaching, mental health and it’s wider effects as well as the world of psychics.

If love this book you should try her Lone Wolf and one of her older books Second Glance, one of the first of her books I read.

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One Million lovely letters

One Million Lovely Letters by Jodi Ann Bickley

20150707_171535I read this for Duvet Dwellers book club in July

As soon as you have read the few pages of this book , you know you are reading a book written from the heart. It is warm, honest and Jodi’s amazing character shines through. You can imagine being  curled up on the sofa, clad in your snuggliest socks with a cup of tea, listening to her talk.

This is an autobiography of her life and how one tiny thing, such as a tick bite, can dramatically alter the direction your life takes. Her illness flips everything upside down, forcing her to learn basic skills again. The chronic nature of her condition descends her into despair and it is only the serendipitous  arrival of an app message that stopped her ending it all. Again, a small thing had  the ability to send her life in another direction .

One million lovely letter project was born and within hours the first of many letters was written. By writing letters to strangers in need of a little bit of positivity and caring, she not only helps them but herself. She uses the power of words to uplift the soul. Her writing oozes with warmth and love. It is felt in every letter you read.

This is a book to read if you are in need of uplifting and reminding how little things matter. You finish the book feeling as if you have received  a hug and been  told everything will be OK. it will also inspire you to grab some colourful pens, fancy paper and tell someone how special they are.

More info on the One Million Lovely Letter project – http://onemillionlovelyletters.com/