Sunday, July 21, 2013

Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

Synopsis (taken from

One moment June Nealon was happily looking forward to years full of laughter and adventure with her family, and the next, she was staring into a future that was as empty as her heart. Now her life is a waiting game. Waiting for time to heal her wounds, waiting for justice. In short, waiting for a miracle to happen.

For Shay Bourne, life holds no more surprises. The world has given him nothing, and he has nothing to offer the world. In a heartbeat, though, something happens that changes everything for him. Now, he has one last chance for salvation, and it lies with June's eleven-year-old daughter, Claire. But between Shay and Claire stretches an ocean of bitter regrets, past crimes, and the rage of a mother who has lost her child.

Would you give up your vengeance against someone you hate if it meant saving someone you love? Would you want your dreams to come true if it meant granting your enemy's dying wish?

 I have read a few of Jodi Picoult's book over the years.  There are some that I quite enjoyed like Second Glance.  And then, there are some that I don't quite enjoyed like Vanishing Acts.  So where does this leaves Change of Heart?  Anyway, I am glad to say that I really like it.

It's a very touching story with bits and pieces of twist and turn but nothing that changes the direction of where the story goes.  Readers get to know the story through the eyes and thoughts of a few people involved. First was June Nealon - a mother and wife whose husband and daughter died in the hands of Shay Bourne and about to lose her second daughter to illness.

Then, we have Father Michael who was part of the jury that was involved in the persecution of Shay Bourne eleven years ago but who is now his spiritual adviser.  Father Michael is a rather conflicted man and carries the guilt of convicting Shay with the death sentence.  Maggie, self appointed lawyer to Shay is a rather insecure Jewish girl who is very good at her job but has low self esteem due to her size fourteen self.  Last but not least, we get to know of Shay from his jail mate, Lucius who murdered his lover and who is suffering and dying from aids.  

In the last chapter, we get to know the ending from Claire.  The only person whom we did not 'hear' from directly is Shay himself.

Although the books touches on issues like spirituality, religion, capital punishment, death sentences, etc.  it's still a book about people and that's what Jodi Picoult is rather good at and I would say to me, this is one of her better book.

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