Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday Synopsis

Change of HeartChange of Heart by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jodi Picoult has a way with controversial subjects, and this book is no different. Among the issues mentioned in this book are violence against the police, child abuse, arson, murder, the death penalty, prison conditions, homosexuality, religion, and organ donation. Perhaps trying to tackle so many subjects in one book is not a great idea, but Picoult does it fairly successfully.

What I didn't like about this book: It is too long, over 400 pages. I feel like Picoult could cut some of the events and back story from the book without changing the message or the plot structure of the novel. There are too many chapters on a peripheral character, Lucius, who does not impact the story line to any degree. She is far too wordy in this novel. Another thing I didn't like is that there are parts of the book that are preachy and almost insulting to certain types of people. Part of it bordered on blasphemy.  I think I would have enjoyed the book better had she not made her own opinion so obvious in the narrative.

What I did like about this book: The characters are realistic and relatable, even the ones you may not like. I can picture these characters in my head, not just their appearances, but their attitudes, backgrounds, and feelings. I also like the idea that everyone can be forgiven, that we are all basically the same except for certain circumstances. And I like the premise of this book.

What if your daughter needed a heart to prevent her from dieing? What if the heart that is available is the one beating inside the chest of the man who killed your husband and other daughter? Would you take it?  What if donating his organs is the way he feels he can reach salvation?  The premise sucked me in.

Change of Heart is about so much more than just the question of organ donation. The death penalty and religion factor in largely as well. The best thing about this book is that it made me think. If you're looking for a fluff book, this is not it. If you like to read stories about realistic people having realistic issues, and you enjoy reading or discussing controversial issues, then you may enjoy Change of Heart.

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