I’ve read a few Jodi Picoult books, including My Sister’s Keeper, Handle with Care, and House Rules. All of these are extremely interesting, well written books that cover some very controversial topics. Change of Heart is no exception to this, and I believe it is one of Picoult’s best novels.
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This story is about a woman (June Nealon) who has a daughter (Claire) that desperately needs a heart transplant. The problem is that the only donor that they can find is a death row prisoner (Shay Bourne) who was convicted for murdering Claire’s father and older sister. Shay believes that the only way he can make up for his actions is to donate his heart to Claire, which cannot happen if he is executed by lethal injection. This is when a lawyer (Maggie Bloom) steps in to help Shay fulfill his last wish by getting him a different method of execution, so that his heart can be salvaged. A priest named Father Michael is also involved, and he begins to question his beliefs when Shay starts performing miracles at the prison.
One of the best features of this book is that, like other Jodi Picoult books, it is told from several points of view. This is a bit confusing at first, but the points of view starts to come together as you keep reading. Being inside each characters mind really helps you understand what they are thinking and feeling.
I think that the most interesting point of view in Change of Heart is that of Lucius, an inmate who is in the same prison as Shay. This character doesn’t play a major part in the story, but he gives you a good idea of what life in a prison is actually like. He also shows you that even criminals who are locked away for life have things that they care about.
Another great thing about this book is that Picoult really makes you think about what you would do in certain situations, like if you were June Nealon and had to choose between losing your daughter and giving her a murderer’s heart.
Picoult also touches some controversial topics, like how religion is meant to bring people together but sometimes does exactly the opposite.
All in all, this is a great read with an intriguing storyline that really makes you think.
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