Title: Harvesting the Heart
Author: Jodie Picoult
Published: April 1, 1995
Publisher: Penguin (Non classics)
- Paige has only a few vivid memories of her mother, who abandoned her when she was five. Now, having left home and her father for dreams of art school and marriage to an ambitious young doctor, Paige finds herself with a child of her own. Emotionally and physically exhausted, overwhelmed by the demands of her family, Paige cannot forget her mother’s absence or the shameful memories from her own past. Her next step would have been unthinkable before her doubts about her maternal ability crept into her mind. Is it possible Paige’s baby would be better off without her?My thoughts:The first chapter is about this woman, Paige, who turns out to be the central character of the book, who stays on the front yard of her house watching her husband and baby son.I thought it was quite creepy for a start and it took me a while to get immersed in the story.Next chapters are about her past, how she grew up without a mother, she fell in love - in an unconvincing manner - with her first love. How she left her dad, for still unclear reasons and how she ended up working in that cafe - again for unbelievable circumpstances.Characters are described in a way that we are made to believe that are the way they are because they don't have any other choice, trying to convince the reader that is it a reality.I didn't feel close to the main character Paige at any point. Strangely enough I felt closer to her dad even though he's really only mentioned to explain her situation.After leaving her poor dad - having been left before by his wife - without a word!, she ends up working in a cafe where her past time is to draw portraits of people.In each drawing, hidden in the pencil's lines and curves, is drawn something, another face/object that describes the person best. She draws this unknowingly and although it is a "magical" thing and we'd like to believe it truly happens, the rest of the book being so unmagical and on the sad side makes it so unrealistic, making the book more for children at times, than for adults as the true story suggests.In her teenager years she fell in love with her first love but this love took so long to develop that it almost felt unnatural. The end of that first love story was the abortion of their child and her running away. So when she fell in love so suddenly with Nicholas, she should have been more wary that what the author is making us believe.Nicholas here is portrayed as the perfect man, tall, good looking, studying medecine with a speciality in heart surgery, focused, rich from a good and happy family, etc...In which world, a surgeon trainee would fall in love with a young childish looking waitress without raising pedophile suspicions, I don't know!!!Their love also felt too fusional to be healthy. Nicholas parents having desinherited him for going ahead with their marriage!But the impossible love between Paige and Nicholas wins over and is sacred by a surprised pregnancy, which scares the hell out of Paige.Once the baby boy was born, she felt completely submerged by feelings of helplessness, being left alone at home while the perfect husband saves hundreds of lives at the hospital.The relationship gap between Husband and Wife is in this case believable, maybe based on personal experience!One night on her way to the grocery shop, she decided to not stop but kept on driving, back to her dad to find her mum, leaving exhausted-from-work Nicholas to deal with the baby.Again leaving another man. Luckily she got some sense and ran to her dad, whom by the way hadn't seen his daughter for years, nor barely heard from her!She also went back to her first love, who had married an overly nice and comprehensive woman who left him and Paige alone for days, knowing full well their past!, and asked him for help in finding her mum.So when she found her mum, quite easily might I add - or ot felt that way because the search wasn't dwelt too much on - she stayed with her a while, trying to understand her. That's when she got the click that her place was with her child, so left her mum suddenly and went back to her baby.Unfortunately, Nicholas didn't take it too well, was a bit stubborn and selfish for not allowing her back. While his wife was away on her quest, he had to go back to his parents for them to babysit the baby while he became the head of surgery at the hospital - What a man!Afterall, Paige was only gone for 3months, and although it is a lot in the first year of your baby, it's also nothing in his entire life so I felt like Nicholas changed into another man, not as nice as we thought he would be.And that's when we reach the present written in the first chapter with Paige basically stalking Nicholas and making herself visible at every corner, even going to live with his parents... Until he realised, after a scare of losing their son, that he needed her and his son needed his mom!And all was well in all worlds!
My ratings**(1 * for the precise baby writing, no doubt the author is a mother)(Another * for the all is well for both families)