From the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Leaving Time Paige has only a few vivid memories of her mother, who abandoned her at five years old. Now, having left her father behind in Chicago for dreams of art school and marriage to an ambitious young doctor, she finds herself with a child of her own. But her mother’s absence and shameful memories of her past force her to doubt whether she could ever be capable of bringing joy and meaning into the life of her child, gifts her own mother never gave.
Harvesting the Heart is written with astonishing clarity and evocative detail, convincing in its depiction of emotional pain, love, and vulnerability, and recalls the writing of Alice Hoffman and Kristin Hannah. Out of Paige’s struggle to find wholeness, Jodi Picoult crafts an absorbing novel peopled by richly drawn characters, and explores motherhood with a power and depth only she is capable of.
“A brilliant, moving examination of motherhood, brimming with detail and emotion.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Jodi Picoult explores the fragile ground of ambivalent motherhood in her lush second novel. This story belongs to… the lucky reader.” —The New York Times Book Review
In her second novel, the author of Songs of the Humpback Whale ( LJ 5/15/92) recounts with power and grace a young woman’s efforts to achieve “grandeur… andthe ability to be comfortable in the world.” Paige O’Toole Prescott, a gifted portraitist, sets aside her art to support her husband, Nicholas, during his medical training. His wealthy parents reject Paige, who already suffers from self-doubt after being abandoned by her mother. Despite Nicholas’s success as a surgeon and the young couple’s love for each other, the birth of their son catapults them into emotional crisis. Paige’s resulting quest for courage and self-confidence forces Nicholas, her parents, and her in-laws to reevaluate their attitudes, standards, and behavior. Picoult considers various forces that can unite or fracture families and examines the complexities of the human heart both literally and figuratively. Highly recommended.
– Jane S. Bakerman, Indiana State Univ., Terre Haute