Jodi Picoult- Stinking up the place again. 3 out of 5 stars…. Harvesting The Heart

OK, I didn’t totally hate this Jodi Picoult. I didn’t, however, understand how she lost the plot so efficiently in the last quarter of the book.
Nicholas and Paige have a contented marriage- until Paige finds out she’s pregnant. She’s filled with mixed emotions, feeling a need to flee, or miscarry the child. She ties this in with the fact that her mother abandoned her and her father when she was 18. This also ties back into an abortion Paige had when with her first ex. The conflicting feelings and repressed emotions build until Paige begins to distance herself from Nicholas, their unborn child, and their marriage. Paige soon gives birth to a healthy baby boy- Max- and her feelings explode into uncertainty, shame at her feelings about her abortion(which no one knows about beside her and her ex, the father), and her mother’s abandonment. Paige suddenly begins to realize- when Nicholas, her husband, the cardiac care head, spends more and more time away while she struggles with the first “trappings” of new motherhood. They do address post-partum depression somewhat in this book, but it’s glossed over with the mother abandonment issues, which seems to take precedence throughout the book. Paige tries to tell Nicholas, and reach out to get help, but he’s obsessed with his career and doesn’t think it’s something that will continue onward(syndrome of many new fathers who don’t realize the depth of their wives’ postpartum woes)and it will just “go away”. Finally, after three months, Paige finally snaps and tells Nicholas she’s going away. She embarks upon a search for her mother- hiring a private detective and finding her living on a horse farm in the South. Paige spends several months with her mother, getting to know her, and finally confronting her about her betrayal. Upon doing this, Paige suddenly realizes how much she misses her son and her marriage. She heads home to an irate Nicholas, who threatens to not only take Max away, but to file for divorce. Paige doesn’t go down without swinging. Nicholas’ parents, who had shunned Paige from the time her and Nicholas got engaged and all through the marriage, have mellowed in their maturity and being new grandparents, take her in and attempt to help her. Basically, cut to the chase- after all of the soul searching, Max has a brush with death, and Nicholas and Paige reconnect- but only on a physical and psuedo-understanding level. The book ends with no apparent resolution to their marriage, to her mom’s role in her life, to anything. You find out what happens to their child, there’s an awkward conversation, and that’s it. Very open-ended. That part of the book really sucked, no kidding. You give such a shit about these characters and their family unit, and then poof! Gone. Disappointing end.


~ by generationgbooks on May 3, 2012.

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