- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Washington Square Press; 1 edition (April 1, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743422449
- ISBN-13: 978-0743422444
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 524 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mercy Paperback – April 1, 2001
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The Boston Globe Picoult writes with a fine touch, a sharp eye for detail, and a firm grasp of the delicacy and complexity of human relationships.
Publishers Weekly An inspired meditation on love....Picoult pays loving attention to her central characters, fashioning a sesitive exploration fo the balance of love.
About the Author
Jodi Picoult received an AB in creative writing from Princeton and a master’s degree in education from Harvard. The recipient of the 2003 New England Book Award for her entire body of work, she is the author of twenty-six novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers House Rules, Handle With Care, Change of Heart, and My Sister’s Keeper, for which she received the American Library Association’s Margaret Alexander Edwards Award. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. Visit her website at JodiPicoult.com.
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Story One: The social debate over mercy killing and/or a persons right to chose end of life. This COULD have been a very good tale if the author had focused her efforts on this subject matter that seems to be in the news more often these days. I would have preferred to hear more about the two sides and the history of the couple at the center of the "mercy killing" and court battle. I'd have loved to hear more about the jury and their struggle (or lack there of) to come to a decision. What did they base it one? Were there any hold outs and why? There seemed to be a focus on which ones appeared to side with the defendant and others who sided with the state while a few seemed to fall in between but within hours they had a complete acquittal...? This story was completely diluted by Story Two and ended abruptly with the defendant seeing his dead wife...? HUH???
Story Two: Mystery woman Mia strolls into town and the author seems to elude to her having a secret agenda. She quickly becomes involved in an affair with the married sheriff and the two seem to not be able to resist each other. The affair drags on and is slowly discovered by the sheriff's mother and then his wife...whoop-dee-do...and then she strolls out of town with her cat and back pack never to be seen again. HUH? Now, she disappears once earlier on in the affair and the sheriff actually hires a private investigator to track her down...why then and not now? What was her agenda for coming to town and then disappearing and how does this relate to "Mercy"?
Both stories could have been an entire book in themselves with the right amount of content but mashed together into one book, neither held my interest and the ending just...ended...no conclusion on anything.
Expecting the story to focus on the controversial subject of euthanasia, I was surprised by a secondary story. Cam met Mia, his wife's new assistant at her florist shop, and quickly fell head over heels in love with a woman who had seemed to appear out of nowhere. Allie had not only given Mia a job, but invited her to stay at the McDonald home, where the affair began. Cam jeopardized his seemingly good marriage for a woman who remained a mystery to me. Perhaps I missed something, but where did Mia come from, why did she carry all her worldly goods and her cat in a duffel bag, and why did she appear in Wheelock? These questions were never answered. It seemed to me that she was an excuse for Allie to discover mercy. The story of Mia and Cam got in the way of a potentially pithy debate about mercy killing. In fact, I found both characters highly annoying and wished that Allie had had the backbone to throw her philandering husband out of her life.
I generally like Jodi Picoult's books, but this one fell short for me. The superfluous history of the clan system would have been apropos in a book about Scotland, but it served little purpose in "Mercy." It was never made clear why Jamie came to his uncle's town to kill Maggie (did he expect the clan leader to back a fellow clansman?).
There was too much clutter in a book that could have been interesting, relevant and timely.
Even Jamie was portrayed as a victim.
I read the novel to the bitter end, not because I was enjoying the experience but in the hope that the novel might be saved at some point. It wasn't.
And it was our book club choice for this month and I didn't want to attend unprepared.