3.05.2008

Book Review: Change of Heart



Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

I've been a devoted fan of Picoult's novels since first reading My Sister's Keeper, still my favorite of her novels, and one that I recommend over and over again to patrons, telling them it's one of my favorites. I've never had anyone come back and say "eh, I didn't like Picoult". In fact, due to our hand selling at the library, we can't keep her books on the shelves!

Picoult is known for tackling pressing moral/medical/ethical issues of the day, and pushing and pushing them to a head, and always having a "twist" at the end of her novels. Though I figured out the twist early on for this title, I still was reading this past my bedtime and into the wee hours to finish it - it was that engaging.

Shay Bourne is on death row for killing a cop and his step-daughter, thus shattering June Nealon's life forever. Eight months pregnant when her husband and daughter were killed, she now has a beautiful little girl, who happens to be dying of heart disease, desperate for a transplant.

Shay wants her to have his heart.

What follows is an investigation into capital punishment (lethal injection wouldn't preserve the heart), faith, forgiveness, the legal system, the fallout of a family, and redemption...

And did I mention that suddenly "miracles" keep happening in the prison tier were Shay is staying?

This is a wonderfully woven, elaborate story with so many angles. As in other books, each chapter Picoult writes rotates to a different narrator - a device that I love becauset you get so many perspectives from all the character's points of view. At times, though, I get aggravated - "No! Go back! I wanna know more about XYZ!" And yet, you get into the next person's head, and you forget about going back.

Though My Sister's Keeper is still my favorite, I really, really loved reading this one as well - great characterization, great plotline, great delivery.

You simply CANNOT go wrong reading Picoult - highly recommended!

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