Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

When I read change of heart, I was already exposed to Picoult’s work. Most of us have started reading her novels as young adults. For me her work ranges from ok-ish to excellent reads but I am the crime/thriller/dark type of woman (we all have preference in different aspects of our lives). Honestly, I was a little doubtful if this novel can satisfy my ever need for reading dramatic novels.

Change of Heart

I found that I actually enjoyed the novel. The characters had some depth and you can pick up that the writer, Picoult, knew what she was talking about in the way she describes certain events or circumstances such as a death row penalty. Picoult made it her duty to find out how the death row penalty work up to how an execution gets performed.

The novel is narrated by several characters from the story and in this way you can get a sense of their experiences and what they are feeling throughout the novel.

The novel is emotionally compelling to an extent and you can’t help but to feel the pain of some of the characters.


Shay Bourne was convicted for the murder of June Neale’s husband and eldest daughter. He was sentenced to life and got the death row penalty; also he happens to be New Hampshire’s first death row prisoner in 69 years. But Shay has one last request and that is to donate his heart to the sister of his victim. Claire Neale has a heart condition and needs a transplant in order to live.

Shay say that it will be his only way to redeem himself by donating his heart but he is aware that it would be medically impossible to donate his heart as he would be executed with lethal injection.

A young local priest, named Father Michael Wright, has been appointed as Shay’s spiritual advisor and plans to convince Shay to make peace with what has happened and that redemption has nothing to do with organ donation. But then a series of miracles happen through Shay and it gets witnessed by other inmates, the wardens as well as the priest. Then the media finds out and they start calling him the Messiah.

June Neale wants nothing to do with Shay and does not want to accept his heart donation but her daughter Claire is busy dying. June already lost her first husband in an accident and then her second husband and eldest daughter for which Shay was convicted of murdering. Can she stand to lose another daughter, another person she loves?

I will stop this synopsis right here, if you would like to no more and find it to be interesting, I would then suggest you pick up a copy and read it 🙂


5 thoughts on “Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

  1. I read this a little while ago and I really loved it. Although I kind of understood the mother’s hesitance to using the heart, I was irritated that she’d rather her daughter die than use the heart.

    • I felt the same way you did. The parts of the brain that are involved with emotions and behaviour are the prefrontal cortex, the deep limbic system, the anterior cingulated gyrus, the temporal lobes and the basal ganglia. So the heart does not affect someone’s behaviour or thinking. The heart is only a muscle that pumps blood throughout the blood vessels. But I guess when you driven by emotion such as hatred, you don’t really think straight or rational.

  2. I am not that huge of a fan Picoult but I love most of her novels as her target audience are mostly people who have families how certain events affects them and nothing beats stories that people can relate to. I think my favourite would be my sister’s keeper and Second Glance – Second Glance was so sad but dragging in the beginning. I got copies of Mercy, Songs of the Humpback Whale, Plain Truth and Keeping Faith (that my friend loaned me). I will probably read Keeping Faith next as soon as I am done with my current book that I am reading.
    However I do really want to read House Rules, The Pact and The Tenth Circle as those novels got very interesting storylines but I do not have copies of these ones.

  3. I’m iffy on this one. It kind of reminds me of Keeping Faith, since it sounds like spiritual things happen. Personally, I prefer the more realistic stories and don’t enjoy the ones that are have miracles or visions like Keeping Faith and what this one kind of sounds like, too. But I loved most of her older novels. The new ones have just kind of left me not feeling so wonderful. Have you read Perfect Match? It’s one of my favorites because it’s just such a shocking story.

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