Title: Change of Heart
Author: Jodi Picoult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
About the book: The standalone novel alternates between the perspectives of four characters: June, Michael, Lucifus, and Maggie.
First impressions: I’ve read Picoult’s work in the past, so I was excited to read Change of Heart. At first, I didn’t know what to make of the four different storylines. I hadn’t expected so many. It took me some time to settle into the story and get to know the characters. But once I did, I quite enjoyed the journey.
Summary: Shay Bourne’s a death row inmate who wants to donate his heart to Claire Nealon, June’s daughter. However, he’s also convicted of murdering June’s husband and her other daughter. June has to decide whether to let Shay give his heart to Claire. Maggie becomes his lawyer, Michael his spiritual advisor.
Characters: They all have their own unique voice. I liked the unique dilemmas of each character.
“You do not learn to like something you abhor; you come to live with it.”
Conflict: There’s a lot going on with the plot. Yet the author does a fine job simplifying complicated issues enough to make them understandable for the layperson.
Writing: I’m fond of the style. Picoult describes what’s going on well enough for me to picture each scene in my head. I didn’t mind the dialogue either. The characters have conversations about real, relevant issues.
I’m not religious, so I don’t know much about religion. But I think it’s a tough topic to write about. The author isn’t condescending or preaching. If anything, through the conversations in the book, Picoult may even encourage discourse in real life.
Final thoughts: I liked Change of Heart. I’d recommend it if you enjoy contemporary reads about contemporary issues.