March 3, 2007
Harvesting the Heart
Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult
Finished on 2/22/07
Rating: 2.5/5 (Average)
2007 TBR Challenge #2
Paige has only a few vivid memories of her mother, who left when she was five. Now, having left her father behind in Chicago, she dreams of art school and 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 maternal abilities and her sense of self-worth. Out of Paige's struggle to find wholeness, Jodi Picoult crafts with astonishing clarity and evocative detail and absorbing novel that explores issues and emotions we can all relate to.
Hmmm, I suppose I can relate to some of Paige's issues. I, too, got married at a young age (19) and was a bit overwhelmed when our daughter was born two-and-a-half years later. I was immature and naive about marriage, emotionally dependent on my husband very much like Picoult's main character. Yet in spite of the demise of my first marriage, I had many friends and relatives I could turn to for help and advice. Paige was pretty much on her own as she tried to figure out how to be a good mother and a loving wife.
I found it difficult to sympathize with either of the main characters (quite frankly, I didn't care at all for Nicholas, who came across as too full of himself and unsympathetic to his wife's needs), and the minor characters lacked dimension. If I had to sum it up in a single word, I'd say this book was hokey. The pacing was uneven and some of the situations seemed implausible and contrived.
I've read and enjoyed several books by Jodi Picoult but this particular novel failed to impress me. It certainly wasn't as entertaining (or as thought-provoking) as Keeping Faith, The Pact, Plain Truth or My Sister's Keeper, yet something pushed me to keep on reading to the end. Maybe I was simply tired of giving up on books so readily and felt compelled to complete this one just for the sake of finishing.