Thursday, February 17, 2011

Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

From the author's website: Shay Bourne - New Hampshire’s first death row prisoner in 69 years – has only one last request: to donate his heart post-execution to the sister of his victim, who is looking for a transplant. Bourne says it’s the only way he can redeem himself…but with lethal injection as his form of execution, this is medically impossible. Enter Father Michael Wright, a young local priest. Called in as Shay’s spiritual advisor, he knows redemption has nothing to do with organ donation – and plans to convince Bourne. But then Bourne begins to perform miracles at the prison that are witnessed by officers, fellow inmates, and even Father Michael – and the media begins to call him a messiah. Could an unkempt, bipolar, convicted murderer be a savior? It seems highly unlikely, to the priest. Until he realizes that the things Shay says may not come from the Bible…but are, verbatim, from a gospel that the early Christian church rejected two thousand years ago…and that is still considered heresy.

This is my third Jodi Picoult book and at this point, my least favorite. Loved My Sister's Keeper, in my pre-blogging days, was okay with The Tenth Circle, and this one was just okay too. I had the "big secret" figured out the minute she dropped the first clue so just had that waiting feeling for a good portion of the book - you know where it's going and you just want it to get there. I liked all the peripheral characters more than I liked the central character, Shay. I know the miracles Picoult has Shay performing were over the top, unbelievable because they are meant to mirror the miracles Christ performed and make us all question our stereotypes of who can be Christian but it all felt a little heavy handed. It was like you could see Picoult flipping through the Bible and choosing stories to tweak. I do have to give her credit for the research she did on the Gnostics. That's not an easy topic, one of my brothers is a religious scholar and everything he writes on the Gnostics is challenging to read. So, overall, I plowed through because it was interesting enough but I didn't love it.


bermudaonion said...

This was probably my least favorite Picoult too because of the over the top miracles.

France said...

An intriguing story about a convicted murderer, sentenced to death, who wants to donate his heart to a family member of his victims. The story has enough twists and turns to keep you interested, but the religious overtones are a little much and the happily ever after ending was somewhat disappointing.