My dear Richard:
Do you remember how we used to tell each other about the books we enjoyed? Neither of us really liked the genres the other read. But that didn't keep us from sharing them. Today I have to tell you about the book I just finished reading. And how it is helping me to process the grief I am feeling about your death. The name of the book is Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. A 'chick book' is what you would call it. It centers around a young girl that is trying to find out what happened to her mother who had mysteriously disappeared 10 years earlier. Her mother was a scientist who studied elephants. I learned so much about elephants reading this work of fiction. Alice studied the behavior of grieving elephants who had lost a child or a family member or a spouse. One particular passage that thunders in my ears is the man Thomas telling Alice (the mother) about his father's death. He says, "I think grief is like a really ugly couch. It never goes away. You can decorate around it; you can slap a doily on top of it; you can push it to the corner of the room-but eventually, you learn to live with it."
So you see, my love, that is what I am doing. I am learning to live with it. Another quote that I will end with is this: "If you think about someone you've loved and lost, you are already with them. The rest is just details.
I love you Richard. I am always with you.
OverviewThroughout her blockbuster career, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult has seamlessly blended nuanced characters, riveting plots, and rich prose, brilliantly creating stories that “not only provoke the mind but touch the flawed souls in all of us” (The Boston Globe). Now, in her highly anticipated new book, she has delivered her most affecting novel yet—and one unlike anything she’s written before.
For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe that she would be abandoned as a young child, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice’s old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts.
I loved this book. Not only did I learn a lot about elephants but a lot about grieving and what it can do to those who are left behind and those that leave. You should read this book. It is beautiful!