Change of Heart: Jodi Picoult

I finished reading Jodi Picoult's Change of Heart last weekend, and as ever, she has given her readers much to think about, and possibly left us just slightly uncomfortable.

If you haven't read Picoult before, it's never too late, and once you do, you'll find the reading experience has become much more- it's a reading and thinking experience, one that leaves us wondering whether what we believed before was a result of thinking, or just some spare information we'd picked up along the way.

The novel speaks to our beliefs about the death penalty - who should die, who should decide, innocence and guilt, and even turns over stones about the economics of the whole process. There are few who will say that they have a definitive opinion on the topic after reading this story.

A mother's love - what would you do, how could you not, how could you? We get the opportunity to dance around the periphery of a woman who has lost almost all, only to have what is left taken as well. What would you do to keep what you have? How far could your principles bend? Picoult bends our minds over some topics that feel like metal against the teeth. And all the edges are jagged.

Better still, there is magic, or miracles, and a messiah - or is there? What is a messiah? Clearly, a murderer should not be Jesus reincarnate, but who is to decide what's murder? Picoult leads us through the maze of justice, fairness, compassion, sin, and punishment. And then she tosses us some new gospels to chew on.

If you think you have solid answers for life's tough questions, that you are not a person who vacillates, or a person who is easily swayed, and you want to stay that way, you should probably avoid this author. If you like twisting and turning to look at all the angles, you have to read this book.


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