Time once again for a book review from the neighborhood book club. This month the pick was “Change of Heart” by Jodi Picoult. I had to drag myself away from my writing in order to read this book in preparation for the group discussion. After I was done I wholeheartedly regretted the loss of what could possibly be the last good week of writing before I have this baby. Initially, I was looking forward to reading it because I’ve heard so much about this author (and because I heard there were some ‘F’ words included which is a rarity from the book club). From the very beginning I found more reasons to put it down than to stick with it and had to force myself to finish it before the group discussion.
The one character – the mother who lost a husband and child to the death-row inmate who now wants to donate his heart to her remaining child – was only a minor character we never got to really see much of. The entire premise of the inmate being some flavor of messiah was a complete rip off of Stephen King’s Green Mile (who did it better, too!) and the rest of the book was completely unbelievable. Several characters that we had to spend agonizing chapters reading about were gratuitous at best and did nothing to further the plot. The main character – who was the one I would have thought interesting to read from his point of view – was the only person we didn’t get to hear from directly. The ONE redeeming quality of this book, and why it got 2 stars from me instead of just one, was the religious aspect and how she was able to discuss and give interesting information without preaching to the reader.
All in all, the conclusion left you with as many questions as there were when it began. There were twists that were thrown in long after I had stopped caring about any of the characters which detracted from the tempo of the book. And the characters were not written well enough for me to ever really care about any of them. If you’ve read Stephen King’s “The Green Mile”, skip this one for sure as it will only piss you off. I’m on the fence about picking up any more from this author because of the lack of quality writing I just witnessed.
The topics touched on in the book – the death penalty, organ donation, and religion – were ones that sparked a good discussion with the ladies from book club but since the book itself never made any real statements one way or the other about any of these topics, even the discussion was not very polarized.
Now, to get back on track with my own writing after such a wasted detour…