Picoult delivers more story in fifty pages than many writers do in hundreds. Through thoughts and flashbacks the main character reveals more about herself than she knows. The central story involves a researcher adopting an orphaned baby elephant.
Only once did Picoult insult the reader by telling us what we should have figured out on our own. (“We both knew she was not talking about the wine.”) But she made up for it with a line—or the opening of a line cribbed from Jane Austen. (“It is a fact universally acknowledge that it’s impossible to stay furious in close proximity to a newborn elephant.”)
Really good story telling.
Really good story.