Saturday, March 8, 2008

Change of Heart

Change of Heart: A Novel by Jodi Picoult ~~ Freelance carpenter Shay Bourne was sentenced to death for killing a little girl, Elizabeth Nealon, and her cop stepfather. Eleven years after the murders, Elizabeth's sister, Claire, needs a heart transplant, and Shay volunteers, which complicates the state's execution plans. Meanwhile, death row has been the scene of some odd events since Shay's arrival—an AIDS victim goes into remission, an inmate's pet bird dies and is brought back to life, wine flows from the water faucets. The author brings other compelling elements to an already complex plot line: the priest who serves as Shay's spiritual adviser was on the jury that sentenced him; Shay's ACLU representative, Maggie Bloom, balances her professional moxie with her negative self-image and difficult relationship with her mother. Picoult moves the story along with lively debates about prisoner rights and religion, while plumbing the depths of mother-daughter relationships and examining the literal and metaphorical meanings of having heart.

Another amazing book! Shay Bourne is sentenced to die for the murders of a father and his daughter. Meanwhile, the unborn child (at the time of the murder) of the wife/mother is now 7 years old and will die with out a heart transplant. Shay Bourne wants to be that donor! The story is told from the points of view of June (the mother), his spiritual advisor (who has past ties to Shay), his ACLU lawyer who is fighting for his execution be be by hanging so they can harvest his organs, and his Tier mate in prison Lucius who is dying of AIDS. Strange "miracles" start happening and people begin to wonder if Shay is Jesus, the messiah or just a fraud. While there are some twists to the story that make you think this is Jodi PIcoults typical "big thing" - the final OMG moment doesn't come until the very end. And it's up to you to decide what to believe. While some people may have issue w/ all of the religion talk in the book (tt is necessary to the plot) I loved the book. I took my time reading it today so that I could absorb it all. And I'm sitting here wondering - is it really possible! A

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