bookLike millions of other people in the world, my mother in-law has read dozens of Jodi Piccoult books. They seem to be very popular. Maybe that’s why I have never read one. Or maybe it’s just because they dodn’t fit into my requirement of fiction-revolving-around-China-or-people-from-China. I finally caved and went to go to the library to check one out but they were all checked out already. So I email Linda and ask if she has any previously-read books lying around and she loans me Change of Heart. I just finished reading it. I thought it was a really good with a HUGE plot twist that, unfortunately, made me sick to my stomach and unable to sleep which is why I’m writing this blog post at 11:43pm with Leo keeping me company by resting his chin on my hands as I type. After reading a few consumer reviews of this book I’ve learned that ALL of Piccoult’s books have a huge plot twist and not all of her fans liked this book. Here’s a review from Publisher’s Weekly (of course it’s glowing – you’ll just have to read it and decide for yourself):

Picoult bangs out another ripped-from-the-zeitgeist winner, this time examining a condemned inmate’s desire to be an organ donor. Freelance carpenter Shay Bourne was sentenced to death for killing a little girl, Elizabeth Nealon, and her cop stepfather. Eleven years after the murders, Elizabeth’s sister, Claire, needs a heart transplant, and Shay volunteers, which complicates the state’s execution plans. Meanwhile, death row has been the scene of some odd events since Shay’s arrival—an AIDS victim goes into remission, an inmate’s pet bird dies and is brought back to life, wine flows from the water faucets. The author brings other compelling elements to an already complex plot line: the priest who serves as Shay’s spiritual adviser was on the jury that sentenced him; Shay’s ACLU representative, Maggie Bloom, balances her professional moxie with her negative self-image and difficult relationship with her mother. Picoult moves the story along with lively debates about prisoner rights and religion, while plumbing the depths of mother-daughter relationships and examining the literal and metaphorical meanings of having heart. The point-of-view switches are abrupt, but this is a small flaw in an impressive book.

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