– Shona Mahambre, TYBA
What would you do to save the life of someone you love? Could grant your enemy’s dying wish to save your child’s life? Could you forgive the person who took everything away from you and destroyed your life? Could you have a ‘Change of Heart?’
“In the space between yes and no, there’s a lifetime. It’s the difference between the path you walk and one you leave behind; it’s the gap between who you thought you could be and who you really are”
Jodi Piccoult’s novel ‘Change of Heart’ is tale of a mother’s loss and a man’s last chance at salvation. It’s a story of justice, love and redemption.
Declared guilty of the cold-blooded killing of a police officer and his stepdaughter, Shay Bourne is sentenced to death in New Hampshire-the first in decades. As his end come closer, Shay tries to find salvation through the daughter of his victim.
For June Nealson, moving forward is impossible. Her husband and daughter murdered at the hands of a carpenter who they had let enter their lives. Now with her other daughter sick and in need of a heart transplant, June is running out of options.
The novel revolves around a number of characters. June who is filled with grief and anger at how her life has been torn apart by Bourne, Shay the death row inmate who wants to donate his heart to June’s daughter Claire as a final act of retribution, Father Michael a spiritual advisor to Shay who faith is shaken by Shay everyone else believes to be the Mesiah because of the unexplainable miraculous thing that happen in the prison (a dead bird comes to life with Shay’s touch, water turns to wine, he shares a small piece of bubblegum with several inmates), Maggie who is an ACLU lawyer who believes that Shay is innocent, LuciasDuFresne an inmate in the cell next to Shay’s who was dying of AIDS and as miraculously cured and eleven year old Claire Nealson who needs a heart transplant.
Although the story is a good heart-wrenching, thought provoking one, the characters lack the necessary characteristics to keep you glued to the book. There is no center focus point of the story either. It shift between Shay and the miracles in the prison, June’s decision whether to accept Shay’s last wish that could save her daughter’s life, Maggie’s insecurities and struggles in her personal life and wanting to prove herself in her professional life and Father Michaels struggle with telling Shay that he was on the jury that convicted him and his faith being tested by Shay who used to quote the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas verbatim.
With time running out for both Shay and Claire, June has to make a decision which will change both their lives.
The book is not as good as Piccoult’s other books like My Sister’s Keeper and Nineteen Minutes. Even though it make the readers question their religious beliefs, it gets boring in places and makes you wonder what she is really trying to say. They end is fairly predictable and it does not keep you wondering what is going to happen next. Overall, not a very good book. Could have done Better but missing out on this one.