Friday, April 11, 2008

Change of Heart - Jodi Picoult

Rating: 3 Don’t bet on this one…wait for the movie (···)

Pages: 447

Challenges: Spring Thing Swap, Chunkster, Full Circle Challenge, Pub Challenge
Shay Borne is on death row and wants to give his heart to the girl whose sister and father he is accused of killing, but death by lethal injection does not produce a viable heart. Enter Maggie from the ALCU and Michael a Catholic priest whose decision on Shay's jury for the death penalty led him into the priesthood. Also, odd things are happening in the jail ward where Shay is housed leading people to wonder if he is Jesus or some type of miracle worker.

I struggled a lot with this book. I have read a lot of Picoult’s books and typically enjoy them, but I didn't enjoy this one as much as some of the others. I like that she takes on prevalent issues in society, but I think this book could have taken on the death penalty without injecting all the questions of God. I didn't like some of the misconceptions she portrayed about Christianity and I am not sure that Shay is creditable, which makes me question some of the book in general. Books with narrators with issues make me question if the book is truly in the right perspective. Are things happening as they appear to the "unstable" narrator. Although Shay wasn't the narrator the other characters certainly question his actions. And it leaves the reader questioning also.
I think this would be a really good book club book, because if anyone is like me they will want to discuss this book after reading it! Plus it leaves a lot of questions open for interpretation and questions of myself if I would want Shay to lie to me to appease me or if I would want him to be himself. I think I would want him to be himself.

Here are some quotes I liked from the book:

“But things like jealousy, rage, and infidelity – they don’t
disappear. They lie in wait, like a cobra, to strike you again when you
least expect it.” (361)

“How could I not have known that you see
God every time you look at the face of the person you love.” (384)

Other Picoult books I liked better: My Sister's Keeper, Second Glance, and Vanishing Acts. has an interview with Jodi Picoult.

In this interview Picoult said, "Who says that just because you're right, that means someone else has to be wrong? Why do we believe the things that we do --- because they're right, or because it's too scary to admit we don't know the answers?" I think it is an interesting question. Although I have a lot of tolerances with religion I am wondering if I practice this with my husband!


Anonymous said...

I've just started reading Picoult this year and felt only one of the three thus far were any good. I definitely am going to give My Sister's Keeper a try though.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you didn't like it as much as I did! This is one of my favorites by Mrs. Picoult. The reason I loved it had everything to do with the injection of religion b/c if not for that, then would the story have been that captivating? I love that she doesn't shy away from characters exploring religion...I don't think there is any one 'true' intepretation of any of them.
Hope you like the next one you choose!

Eesti said...

Jodi Picoult is a fine writer, who seems to have found a formula that works for her. Her books always involve some life altering event, usually a death, where the victim or victimizer hides a secret until the final three pages of the book. There is usually a lawsuit of some kind, a semi-happy marriage, and children. "My Sister's Keeper" is her finest work, but only because the pattern was fresh at the time. With "Change of Heart," Picoult's ingenuity has begun to flag. She seems more intent in powering us through the novel, and making sure that she crams in all the usual aspects of her plots so that she could release a book within a year and a half of the last one.