Circe by Madeline Miller (♦♦♦♦)

Granddaughter of Oceanus, daughter of Titan Helios and sea nymph Perseid, Circe was different from the start. While her siblings discovered their unique gifts very early on and gained their independence—either by claiming their inheritance, like Perses and Aëstes, or by marriage to a wealthy demigod, like Pasiphäe—, Circe remained among her family in the halls of the gods. Her love for young fisherman Glaucus changed everything. Circe used a potion to transform Glaucus into a worthy suitor. Glaucus, seeing his station changed, fell in love with one Circe’s cousins, a sea nymph named Scylla. Out of jealousy, Circe put a potion on Scylla’s bath and, unintendedly, transformed her into a monster. Circe’s confession forced Helios to go to see Zeus, for witchcraft is something that gods fear can tip the balance of power. Zeus declared an eternal banishment for Circe from the halls of the gods to the island of Aiaia.

Exile was not easy but, as Circe learned, it had its advantages; being away f…

Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult (♦♦♦)

Luke Warren, a famed biologist, is an expert in wolves’ behavior. He was adopted by at least two wolf packs in captivity before leaving his human family for two years to live in the wild, meanwhile searching for a wild pack of wolves to welcome him as a member. Luke Warren has always felt more comfortable among animals than with humans, thus is no wonder he can’t understand nor keep together his own human family.

Edward and Cara are Luke’s children. Edward is twenty four years-old and has lived away in Thailand for six years since he left his family in a hurry after a supposedly heated argument with his father. Cara has lived with Luke for the past four years, ever since her mother Georgie got remarried and gave birth to twins. Edward has hated his father since he left his family to live with wolves. Cara adores her father; for her, Luke is a god. She shares everything with her father.

When Cara’s best friend implores her to go to a party and Cara accepts, she consumes “one beer” before she supposedly calls her father on the phone to pick her up. Next thing she knows, a deer crosses their path on their way home and they end up hitting a tree.

Cara survives the accident with shattered bones for which she needs surgery…Her father isn’t that lucky. Luke undergoes a traumatic brain injury that leaves him in an irreversible vegetative state. Since Cara is still a minor-- “seventeen and three-quarters” according to her--, she isn’t allowed to make legal medical decisions for her father. It is up to Edward, Luke’s estranged son, to decide whether he is to be kept on life support or if his life is terminated. Edward wants the latter but he won’t have his way if it’s up to Cara.

I liked this book. Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult is compulsively readable, very interesting topic, particularly the analogies between wolves’ families and human ones. It is thanks to these analogies that the book doesn’t become unbearable, because it gets to a point where it drags along, with Edward and Cara immersed in petty fights and entangled in legal battles for the right to make a decision involving their father’s life. It is not an easy topic to tackle, and there is no easy way out, no miracles involved to make us believe in fairy tales; the story ends as it should.

The greatest accomplishment of the book is that it treats the audience as intelligent readers.

In summary, Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult is a good book, but don’t expect fireworks!