Review: Lone Wolf

Why I picked it: My book club picked this one.  It's just three of us these days, but somehow it works.  It was a delightful evening.

I noticed that ShelleyRae (Book'd Out) was reading this last week and asked her if she was interested in discussing the book with me, sending each other three questions to answer. 

Click here to visit her blog and read my answers to her questions.

Synopsis: Edward Warren, twenty-four, has been living in Thailand for five years, a prodigal son who left his family after an irreparable fight with his father, Luke. But he gets a frantic phone call: His dad lies comatose, gravely injured in the same accident that has also injured his younger sister Cara.

With her father’s chances for recovery dwindling, Cara wants to wait for a miracle. But Edward wants to terminate life support and donate his father’s organs. Is he motivated by altruism, or revenge? And to what lengths will his sister go to stop him from making an irrevocable decision?
Type: Fiction

Quick Take: My book club discussed this book Wednesday evening. A discussion that latest a hour!  Having a nurse, a friend with an ailing grandparent and my experiences... we had plenty to discuss about end of life care/decisions and organ donation. 

We all agreed the wolf part was a bit too much but otherwise enjoyed the novel. 

My favorite Picoult novel: My Sister's Keeper

ShelleyRae answers three questions from me:

How did your view of Cara change as the novel progressed? Did you find her character believable (her actions/decisions)? While Cara always had my sympathy for the horrible situation she was in, I didn't like her very much. At seventeen she lacked the maturity I would have expected from a girl given so much adult responsibility while living with her father - I think she behaved closer to what I would expect from a spoilt and childish 15 year old. Her tantrums seemed a little excessive to me as did the constant dramatic accusations. Her manipulation of the court proved she was unable to consider the consequences of her actions. I did feel for her though especially when Edward quite bluntly shatters her view of her father and her family near the end of the novel.

This novel covers some controversial subjects. Were you uncomfortable with anything explored or the decisions made in the novel? I believe strongly in organ donation so I was glad to see that discussed. It irritates me personally that a person can nominate themselves as an organ donor on their licence, register their intent and still be overridden by grieving relatives who are not in a place to truly consider the option. 'Pulling the plug' is a much more complicated issue, in theory I believe it is better to let a person go when hope for any sort of meaningful recovery is minimal but I have never been confronted with that decision and if it was my parent, or husband or child in that bed I doubt the answer would be so clear. Personally I have discussed both issues with my husband and have asked he give his permission for organ donation and to let me go if recovery is unlikely.

What were your thoughts about the family members in Lone Wolf and the idea of family members quitting? Some might say Luke quit his family, choosing the wolves. Did Edward quit before returning home after his father’s accident? The family was broken but might be on the verge of reconnecting (at the end of the novel). Families are such complicated things, we don't choose who we are related to and sometimes walking away is the only way we can hold on to ourselves. It's notoriously difficult to sever the ties that bind family and I think however tenuously the connection remained as it does here. I feel Luke made a choice to put his obsession with wolves above the needs of his own family, he quit being a husband and father to meet his own needs but he didn't desert them completely - though it may have been kinder to. In contrast I think Edward felt he had no real choice, he left for the right reasons even though the decision was based on faulty thinking. That he kept in touch with his mother and dropped everything to return home shows to me that he hadn't quit his family but absented himself from a difficult situation.

Thanks for discussing this book with me,  I look forward to another selection down the road.

Rating: 3 stars
Source: Personal Copy