Monday, August 9, 2010

Book Review - Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is reported to be a master at addressing current and complicated issues.  In Change of Heart addresses issues surrounding Capital Punishment.  Reports are correct.  She looked at the issue from more sides that I ever imagined.  It is a complex problem.  Of course Picoult exaggerated the complexity by plowing every conceivable issue into one single case.  Doing so it became a bit far fetched.  I can handle far fetched.  I like Sci-Fi/ Fantasy.

I loved the way each chapter was written from the perspective of a different character in the story.  The flow was smooth and seamless, but the varying perspectives made it seem much more intimate.  I like hearing the characters speak in first person rather than from the perspective of a fly on the wall.  The only character not to have a first person voice was the main character.  His story and point of view remained quite mysterious throughout and kept an air of uncertainty which kept my curiosity piqued.

While the topic of the book was Capital Punishment the theme was the heart.  Every metaphorical and literal representation of the human heart was woven artfully and subtly into the fabric of the story.  Not once did the thematic representation of the heart bear a flashing arrow to point them out, yet they were not to be overlooked either.  I think that is masterful.

Part and parcel with the retribution of Capital Punishment lies the question of Redemption.  This too, is examined from several angles.  While Picoult seemed to come to some conclusions about the acceptability of of the death penalty, she seems utterly lost regarding the nature and means of redemption.  That examination of course, wasn't researched thoroughly enough, for she never found the truth of the Redeemer.  Failing to make that discovery, she was left without a plausible conclusion; just as is the case with every religious tradition she examined.

I like reading it, for it was interesting and well written throughout.  Despite some crude language it was coarse at all.  I'll give it three stars.

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