Monday, July 7, 2008

Review: Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

The book jacket for Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult begins:
"Would you give up your vengeance against someone you hate if it meant saving someone you love? Would you want your dreams to come true if it meant granting your enemy's dying wish?"

June Nealon has suffered the most horrific tragedy - her husband and daughter were murdered by a man she hired to work on her house. At the time she was 8 months pregnant with another daughter. The book begins with a little information about the trial and how the jury decided the killer's fate. Shay Bourne is that killer.

The story then jumps eleven years ahead. June is faced with another tragedy - her 11 year old daughter, Clare, needs a new heart. Shay is on death row and believes he should give his heart to Clare. Father Michael is a priest called in to be Shay's spiritual advisor. However, before he was Father Michael, he was a young college student on the jury that convicted Shay and sentenced him to death. Add into the mix some strange occurrences that happen with Shay, an ACLU lawyer who has issues of her own, another inmate and you have a very intriguing book.

I've been a fan of Jodi Picoult for a number of years, loving some of her books and just liking others. This one I think falls in the middle. It's written from multiple points of view, with clear changes between the narrators by chapter titles and fonts. The font changes actually helped me to get a feel for each character as if the font was representative of their personality.

The story got more interesting and intriguing as it went on. Ms. Picoult included various characters that could have been just given a stereotypical face because they didn't carry the plot, but instead she gave them depth and a glimpse into the differences between what you think about someone versus who they really are. This book will make you think while giving you a good story.

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