By Alyssa Book
Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult is a book that explores the struggles a young woman faces with dealing with issues of her past while meeting the demands of being a wife and a new found mother. The plot centers on Paige O’Toole and Nicholas Prescott. She is a young runaway and he is a striking up and coming med student. Having their backgrounds being from completely different parts of the globe, as the reader you can begin to feel like this a modern Cinderella story, Picoult is too crafty for that though, weaving in abortion, neglect, and lies into the story-line. The sensitive topics covered are handled in a respectful manner.
The story talks about the difficulty of meeting the demands of a family. The story switches point of view between Paige and Nicholas, which is great because it shows how men and women look at the same concerns in a different way. Having a mother absent in her life, Paige is wondering if she has the emotional state to take care of a child of her own. As the story progresses, you see how Paige is starting to become a mirror image of her mother, the woman she swore she would never take after.
Picoult wrote this story in a voice of vulnerability and delicacy. Every character I came across I felt that I understand what they were going through. I have many Picoult books, and this one felt the most personal. She handles the story with emotional grace and shows how the transition into motherhood and marriage is not always the fairy tale we grow up hearing about.
The only frustrating part I found with the novel was the ending. It did not give you a clear cut answer to what the solution to the problem was. I found myself wondering days after I finished the novel what exactly the ending meant. I loved the book and just wanted to know more about the future of Paige and Nicholas. While this was frustrating, I believe that the ending showed how well Picoult causes the reader to think about what they are reading and use their own morals to decide what they think should happen.
I would recommend this book to anyone that is at least high school age. With both male and female narrators is helps both genders identify with story. The novel is full of suspense but has a romantic interest in it so it stays interesting the whole way through. Harvesting the Heart is a great novel that shows a new perspective into the life of motherhood, marriage, and discovering yourself.