Harvesting the Heart

Harvesting the Heart

3.9 163
by Jodi Picoult
     
 

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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

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Overview

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

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Picoult writes with a fine touch, a sharp eye for detail, and a firm grasp of the delicacy and complexity of human relationships."
-The Boston Globe

"Picoult has become a master-almost a clairvoyant-at targeting hot issues and writing highly readable page-turners about them . . . It is impossible not to be held spellbound by the way she forces us to think, hard, about right and wrong."
-The Washington Post

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.
The Washington Post
Picoult has become a master—almost a clairvoyant—at targeting hot issues and writing highly readable page-turners about them . . . It is impossible not to be held spellbound by the way she forces us to think, hard, about right and wrong.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Picoult ( Songs of the Humpback Whales ) brings her considerable talents to this contemporary story of a young woman in search of her identity. Abandoned by her mother when she was five years old, Paige O'Toole has been left with painful doubts about her self-worth. She leaves her Chicago home for Cambridge, Mass., at 18 to fulfill herself as an artist, but must work in a diner because she can't afford art school. When she marries Harvard medical student Nicholas Prescott, his parents disown him, disapproving of their Irish Catholic daughter-in-law. Again Paige is forced to sideline her creative needs and work as a waitress in order to support Nicholas until he is able to establish his career as a cardiac surgeon. Paige is soon overwhelmed by the demands of Nicholas's socially sophisticated world, and after the birth of their son, Max, she becomes emotionally and physically exhausted. Unable to communicate her terrors about herself to Nicholas, she leaves him to search for her mother, who may hold the answers to her life. Told in flashbacks, this is a realistic story of childhood and adolescence, the demands of motherhood, the hard paths of personal growth and the generosity of spirit required by love. Picoult's imagery is startling and brilliant; her characters move credibly through this affecting drama. ( Nov. )
The New York Times Book Review
Jodi Picoult explores the fragile ground of ambivalent motherhood in her lush second novel.
Library Journal
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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140230277
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/28/1995
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
161,723
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.93(d)
Lexile:
890L (what's this?)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Mary Morris
"In this breathless, startling novel, Jodi Picoult reveals the fragile threads that hold people together, or let them break apart. Her narrative, especially her sense of family, is reminiscent of a young Anne Tyler. Hers is a remarkable new voice, and it tells us a story that goes straight to the heart."
From the Publisher
"Picoult writes with a fine touch, a sharp eye for detail, and a firm grasp of the delicacy and complexity of human relationships."
-The Boston Globe

"Picoult has become a master-almost a clairvoyant-at targeting hot issues and writing highly readable page-turners about them . . . It is impossible not to be held spellbound by the way she forces us to think, hard, about right and wrong."
-The Washington Post

Meet the Author

Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-two novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Between the Lines, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper; and is the co-author of the highly anticipated young adult novel Off the Page. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Hanover, New Hampshire
Date of Birth:
May 19, 1966
Place of Birth:
Nesconset, Long Island, NY
Education:
A.B. in Creative Writing, Princeton University; M.A. in Education, Harvard University
Website:
http://www.jodipicoult.com/

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Harvesting the Heart 3.9 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 163 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Before I begin, I have to say that I'm very biased when it comes to Ms. Picoult. I first saw her at a book signing for Nineteen Minutes and instantly liked her. Since that book signing, I've read nine of her books, with the intention of reading her entire collection. Having said that, I have to say the first part of Harvesting the Heart was extremely difficult for me to get into. I never thought of putting it down or reading another book. At times I had to force myself to read and looking back, I'm glad that I did.

I don't want to say too much about the storyline and when things began to pick up for me, (may be a spoiler for some) but after a certain event happened, I couldn't stop reading. After I finished reading the book, I thought about my feelings regarding the first chapters. When Paige and Nicholas first meet, they are from different worlds. He has had everything handed to him and she has given up a dream that she feels she doesn't deserve. Despite their differences, they fall in love and decide to marry. During the early years of their marriage, I consider Nicholas to be extremely selfish and Paige to be very passive. Even for them, it was hard for both of them to be with the other. So, I'm wondering, as the reader, was it hard for me to be with them as well.

As I mentioned earlier, Paige comes to a crossroad in the marriage where she has to choose to move ahead or finally deal with the past she left behind. She makes a decision, that will set in motion events that will determine the fate of her marriage. Harvesting the Heart, for me, was typical Jodi Picoult. I finished the book with many questions and could not stop thinking about the characters. Actually, what was missing was a trial scene. Having read most of her recent books first, it was nice to go back and read one of her earlier works. Ms. Picoult has grown as a writer, however even then she knew how to tell a story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the only Jodi Picoult book that I did not finish. I usually love her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read many Jodi Picoult books but this one was so hard for me to get into. Probably took me about 2 weeks or more to read it when usually I can finish one of her books in a night. Not until the last few chapters was I not able to put it down. Overall not terrible just not my speed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'...Watching as blood vessels were clamped off and sewn, or were cauterized, filling the operating suite with the smell of burning human tissue. He waited until the vein was settled in solution for its later use. Then, stepping up to the patient, Nicholas took a deep breath. ' This quote is from the novel, Harvesting the Heart, by Jodi Picoult. This rollercoaster plot dives into the life of a young woman, Paige, and man, Nicholas. Nicholas is struggling the hard road of being the top cardiologist at the local hospital in Boston, and Paige is left wondering after her abortion, where her mother disappeared to. These two meet in the middle of all this and emotionally fall in love. I thought the point of view of this story helped define the image I got with Nicholas's and Paige's thoughts flowing continuously every couple of chapters. Though Paige's thoughts were dramatic and exaggerated, I enjoyed much more of Nicholas's side of the story. His side was thrilling and intense, and the reader will never know what he would do next. Jodi Picoult's novels are always detailed and good reads, but compared to other her other novel's, Harvesting the Heart, is around average. Harvesting the Heart is still a good book about commitment and a young marriage. I suggest anyone in their free time looking for a realistic fiction plot, pick up this novel and enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book and i recomend :my sisters keeper. I loved that book to and it is by jodi all so l just love her books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Same review as for Kristin Hannah!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read tugged at this mothers heart strings
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first it was hard to get in to the book. Got good a few times but did drag on a bit. I DID NOT LIKE THE ENDING! Leaves u with a bunch of questions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Jodi Picoult and I have been making my way through all her books but this one has taken me forever to get through and finally I gave up-- I just couldnt read it anymore• not her best
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trish65PK More than 1 year ago
Jodi Picoult is awesome! This book is as great as all her others, if you are a fan of hers or even if you're, its a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
appleJL More than 1 year ago
Excellent as always.