Newest Review: ... sister of his victim. However, death by lethal injection does not allow for organ donation. Can Shay have his sentence changed to anothe... more
Change of Heart - Unputdownable!
Change of Heart - Jodi Picoult
Member Name: NoAngel21c
Change of Heart - Jodi Picoult
Advantages: involving, fast paced, exciting
Disadvantages: you might need to clear some time as you won't want to put it down!
Shay Bourne is an inmate on I-Tier in high security prison facing execution by lethal injection, for the double murder of 7 year old Elizabeth Nealon and her step father, Police Officer Kurt Nealon.
The wife and mother of the victims 11 years later is faced with losing her 11 year old daughter Claire who is in desperate need of a life saving heart transplant.
With Shays execution imminent he hears that Claire needs the heart transplant and is convinced he must be the donor in order to 'make things right' The only problem here is that the chemicals in the lethal injection would damage the heart and make it unsuitable for transplant. A legal battle follows to try to convince the courts to let Shay die by hanging which would mean the transplant could go ahead.
This isn't where the battle ends. June Nealon, Claires mother, still understandably bitter after losing her husband and daughter, doesn't want to accept Shays heart and struggles with her conscience over whether or not to take it.
An extra side story is that from the moment Shay arrives on I-Tier, strange things start to happen, miracles that have many people believe Shay is the new messiah. This causes much publicity for the court case and keeps the reader guessing till the very end!
The story is told from the different viewpoints of the following main characters.
Lucius is another inmate on I-Tier convicted of killing his boyfriend. He is an AIDs sufferer who forms a companionship with Shay.
Maggie, Shays lawyer, has self esteem issues but is a very strong female character who fights for peoples rights and freedoms.
Michael is a Catholic priest and Shays spiritual advisor who interestingly started the story by being on the Jury that initially sentenced Shay to death.
June is the mother of Elizabeth and Claire Nealon and the wife of Kurt. She is torn apart after the murderers but forces herself to carry on for the sake of her unborn baby (Claire)
The format of the book if an interesting one and one that Picoult uses frequently. It helps the reader connect with each individual character more as we are seeing the world through their eyes. It forces the reader to imagine how we would deal with the situations they are facing.
The character Ian Fletcher, one of the main characters in 'Keeping Faith' (who I love!) makes a brief reappearance in this book. Although it isn't necessary to read the books in order I'd suggest Keeping Faith first if you want to read it so this book doesn't spoil any part of the other one!
All in all this is a very good read, made all the better for some interesting twists towards. I found it absolutely gripping from the first few pages. Impossible to put down and was read late into the nights!
I have read most of Picoults novels and I would definitely put this right up there with her best. It's a must read for any fan and will have any new readers hooked on Jodi Picoult!
If you're thinking of reading this book go for it, don't want to hype it up too much but in my eyes it's a gem and you won't be disappointed!
Summary: Absolutely brilliant writing, One of Jodi's best!