Last wish…

Picoult - Change of HeartChange of Heart
Jodi Picoult
438 pages; published 2008

When it first happened, I used to make bargains with myself. I’d say that I could handle their deaths, as long as – and here I’d fill in the blank. As long as they had been quick and painless. As long as Elizabeth had died in Kurt’s arms. I’d be driving, and I’d tell myself that if the lights turned green before I reached the intersection, surely those details were true. I did not admit that sometimes I slowed down to stack the odds. (193)

 

When June Nealon’s husband was killed in a car accident, she thought the worst had happened.

When, five years later, her second husband and seven-year-old daughter were murdered in their home she thought she couldn’t possibly go on.

But then, after soldiering on for the sake of her only surviving family, her daughter Claire, June is dealt yet one more blow. Claire has a fatal heart condition; she needs a transplant.

Meanwhile, Shay Bourne, the first New Hampshire man on death row in over sixty years sits watching television in his cell. Seeing Claire on television, the sister and daughter of the people with whose murder he is charged, Shay is now determined to do the unthinkable: he wants to donate his heart to Claire after his execution, to give back what he took.

But this man’s one dying wish is not an easy one to grant. Can the courts be persuaded to make the changes to procedure necessary to allow this? Can June Nealon live with the consequences of accepting – or not accepting – this heart? And, most complicated of all, how does this desire fit with the sudden miracles coming out of prison? Is hay Bourne a murderer or a messiah? Should his wish be granted?

You only have to look at my bookshelf to know that I’m a true Jodi Picoult devotee. Change of Heart, while not making it to the top of my favorites, was definitely an enjoyable read. It held all the things I love about her books: beautiful writing, a heartbreaking situation and relatable characters (I just loved Maggie and little Oliver – read it and you’ll know) … but I have to say, I predicted the end of this one long before I got there. It didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story and I still read it pretty solidly for two days, but there was no (or little) surprise at the end.

A good read for Picoult fans, probably not the best to start with though. Oh, and for those who read all her books, there was a returning character to spot! 4/5

8 comments :

Diane said...

I had similar thoughts about this Picoult novel when I read it; great review.

Tonya said...

I've read quite a bit of Picoult's books but not this one. Thanks for the review, I'll be sure to pick it up!

Ladytink_534 said...

I can't read Picoult as it puts me in a bit of reading slump since most of her work is actually quite depressing :(

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Shon said...

I am a Jodi fan as well. Change of Heart was good. I just finished reading Handle with Care. Have you read it yet? Out of all her books I've read, Nineteen Minutes is my favorite (followed by My Sister's Keeper).

Rebecca said...

Shon: I haven't read Handle with Care yet, for a very long, very anal reason. Trust me, telling you will only make me look crazy; I'll get to it eventually. I have read Nineteen Minutes but, though I still loved it, it wasn't my favourite. I think I'd have to go with My Sister's Keeper (I think that's everyone's favourite or nearly favourite) and the Vanishing Acts.

Jenners said...

I agree with you ... I am a big Jodi Picoult fan but I don't think this was one of her best. But still very readable. She does have a knack for writing such different stories each time. This one just reminded me way too much of Stephen King's The Green Mile. I know she has a new one out and I'm anxious to read it.

Michelle said...

I've never read anything by Picoult, but she comes highly reommended by friends so on an impulse I picked this up the other day. A bit sad to read that you don't recommend it to first-timers!