Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Change of Heart (Jodi Piccoult)

I liked this book, though there was a lot of God in it for me. It also seemed like a partial retelling of Shawshank Redemption, which I loved, but which kind of tainted the book for me. As much as I adore Jodi Piccoult, I think Steven King is one of the greatest modern soft fiction writers, so he's pretty hard to directly compete with, I think.

The story centers around a death row inmate who might (or might not) have divine properties. He also might (or might not) have murdered the daughter and second husband of a woman who was widowed previously. And he might (or might not) get to donate his heart to the daughter of the murdered police officer and his surviving wife, once his sentence is carried out.

There were three big themes in this book, from my perspective. The first was grief and what it does, or has the potential to do, to people. Grief is everywhere, most obviously in June's character, who lost two husband's and has a daughter that needs a heart transplant.

The second theme revolved around faith and religion. Basically, the end message for me was that faith is what you need it to be, and so are the things you believe in. There is no one way to faith and no one way to feeling redeemed.

The third theme kind of involved the brokenness of people, and how they can be fixed. We see this with Maggie, June, literally with June's daughter and of course with Shay. I think this theme was the most interesting to me.

Those most of her books center of bizarre coincidences, or strange turns of events, I felt like this one did that more than the others, to the point that no slim change of them actually happening remained.

I also kind of felt like she was phoning this one in... the writing didn't feel as, I don't know, tight? as her previous books. Or maybe there just seemed to be more depth in the others. I don't know. Not my favorite of her books, for sure. Overall, B-

No comments: