Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Harvesting the Heart

From the back cover:

Paige has only a few vivid memories of her mother, who abandoned her when she was five. Now, having left her father behind in Chicage, she dreams of art school, marries an ambitious doctor-and soon becomes a mother herself. Overwhelmed by the demands of having a family, Paige cannot forget her mother's absence and the shameful memories of her own past, which make her doubt both her ability to give and her sense of self-worth. Out of Paige's struggle to find wholeness, Jodi Picoult crafts with astonishing clarity and evocative detail an absorbing novel that explores issues and emotions we can all relate to. As The New York Times raved, "This story belongs to . . . the lucky reader."

Before I begin, I have to say that I'm very biased when it comes to Ms. Picoult. I first saw her at a book signing for Nineteen Minutes and instantly liked her. Since that book signing, I've read nine of her books, with the intention of reading her entire collection. Having said that, I have to say the first part of Harvesting the Heart was extremely difficult for me to get into. I never thought of putting it down or reading another book. At times I had to force myself to read and looking back, I'm glad that I did.

I don't want to say too much about the storyline and when things began to pick up for me, (may be a spoiler for some) but after a certain event happened, I couldn't stop reading. After I finished reading the book, I thought about my feelings regarding the first chapters. When Paige and Nicholas first meet, they are from different worlds. He has had everything handed to him and she has given up a dream that she feels she doesn't deserve. Despite their differences, they fall in love and decide to marry. During the early years of their marriage, I consider Nicholas to be extremely selfish and Paige to be very passive. Even for them, it was hard for both of them to be with the other. So, I'm wondering, as the reader, was it hard for me to be with them as well.

As I mentioned earlier, Paige comes to a crossroad in the marriage where she has to choose to move ahead or finally deal with the past she left behind. She makes a decision, that will set in motion events that will determine the fate of her marriage. Harvesting the Heart, for me, was typical Jodi Picoult. I finished the book with many questions and could not stop thinking about the characters. Actually, what was missing was a trial scene. Having read most of her recent books first, it was nice to go back and read one of her earlier works. Ms. Picoult has grown as a writer, however even then she knew how to tell a story. (4/5)


  1. Wonderful review! I just finished my first Picoult book ever, My Sister's Keeper and loved it.

  2. Nice review! I agree with you... I often find it a slow start when reading Picoult's books but after an event happens in the storyline I can't put them down! I bought this book for my sister earlier this year and hope to read it when she's finished. Diane

  3. Teddy Rose-

    My Sister's Keeper was the first book I read by her and loved it! It was that book that made me want to read her entire collection.

  4. Bookinhand-

    Harvesting the Heart is the first book I read by her that I thought was a slow start. Granted I haven't read all her books yet.

  5. Very nice review! I haven't read any of her books but I appreciate how you explained that her writing style has improved with time. It's intriguing to me that you are reading through all her works and so I enjoyed what you had to say very much.