Jodi Picoult - Change of Heart

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Change Of Heart; ATransplant Of Familiar Ideas and Characters

Apr 23, 2009
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Interesting story-line yet somewhat a repeat of an earlier book of hers.

Cons:Stole characters, deeds and names from author Stephen King.

The Bottom Line:

Though Change of Heart was a good read, I felt cheated.


My wife turned me on to Jodi Picoult who is now a New York Times Best Selling Author. I particularly enjoyed My Sister's Keeper that I reviewed a while back. Like that book this one also deals with transplants and tossed my mind back and forth as to how I would react in the same situation. That's something My Sister's Keeper did so brilliantly. This one did some of the same but unfortunately I kept reverting to characters that where not in this particular Jodi Picoult book.

It didn't take too long to realise that I was reading a takeoff of Stephen Kings, Green Milethat I read in pieces as each the serial came out in six parts. Now that was superior reading! Picoult did her own twist of a character possibly misjudged and now preparing for the death penalty.

The book plot revolves around a woman and her daughter who needs a heart transplant. The background given early notes that the man on death row may have killed the girls younger sister and step-father. He also may be a good match for a heart transplant but fatal injection will render the heart useless. A lawyer steps in, I liked her spunkiness, and becomes an advocate for the man on death row. A priest also comes into the picture and questions his own reasoning, motives and spirituality. Those two characters gave this book some substance.

Most of the book gives different points-of-view as to whether such a transplant can be done, will be done, or will be accepted. It was the changing points of view that made Picoult's Sister's Keeper so gripping. Though this book did move along and have an interesting tale, I kept relating to Kings own oversized, gentle giant of a death row character. That's the only image I had of Picoult's killer. I mean this guy also did some "out of this world" deeds like King's character. Like King's character Ms Picoult's Shay Bourne, the death row prisoner, is well remembered after the books end. Can I say that was the "redeeming" part of the book.

That much was just too coincidental and off-putting.

To top it off I was reading along and one of the characters has the same name or it's pretty darn close to another character in another King book, the Shawshank Redemption, also set within a prison. That book I never read but the character was key in the movie that I have viewed many, many times.

 I finished the book, enjoyed it to a point and was satisfied with the ending (something that Picoult books don't always do) That said, I still felt cheated. I wonder how King feels about it.


Recommend this product? Yes

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