Harvesting the Heart

( 160 )

Overview

Jodi Picoult’s Captivating Second Novel
 
From the New York Times bestselling author of My Sister’s Keeper, Lone Wolf, and the forthcoming The Storyteller, 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. Paige has only a few vivid memories of her mother, who left when she was ...

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Overview

Jodi Picoult’s Captivating Second Novel
 
From the New York Times bestselling author of My Sister’s Keeper, Lone Wolf, and the forthcoming The Storyteller, 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. Paige has only a few vivid memories of her mother, who left when she was five. 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, make her doubt both her maternal ability and her sense of self worth. Out of Paige's struggle to find wholeness, Jodi Picoult crafts an absorbing novel peopled by richly drawn characters and explores issues and emotions readers can relate to.

“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

The author of Picture Perfect "explores the fragile ground of ambivalent motherhood" (New York Times Book Review). Paige's mother left when she was five. When Paige becomes a mother herself, she is overwhelmed by the demands. Unable to forget her past, Paige struggles with the difficulties of marriage and motherhood.

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Editorial Reviews

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 Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 188,001
  • Lexile: 890L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.42 (w) x 8.28 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult grew up in Nesconset, New York. She received her A.B. in Creative Writing from Princeton University, and her M.Ed. from Harvard University.

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

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 160 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(61)

4 Star

(44)

3 Star

(36)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 160 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2008

    Dealing with the past

    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.<BR/><BR/>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.<BR/><BR/>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.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2012

    Reviewing reviews

    I like that i can read a review before making a desision about a book. I enjoy the positve ones as well as the negative. However, why does a reviewer feel the need to give a play by play. This is not a chance to blog! Giive your review then write to your diary! I want a review, not a sumary.

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2011

    Not what I expected

    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.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    This One Touched A Nerve!

    Hmm. Where to begin with this one?
    I have so many thoughts to sort through with this one. Here is my stream of consciousness...

    First and foremost,
    HOW THE HECK DO YOU LEAVE YOUR 3-MONTH OLD BABY?
    FOR THREE MONTHS!?!?!?!

    Leaving your baby at such an age is unfathomable to me, let alone for three months. A day or two? Okay. A week even, to collect yourself? Okay. But three months?

    And I nearly died when Paige made the phone call to Nicholas and admitted to herself that she didn't take into consideration the ramifications her absence would have on Nicholas and his job. And while Paige's character didn't strike me as self-centered, that is SO SELF ABSORBED! How could it not dawn on her what she was doing and how her actions would affect every one else?

    And the whole mood of the book was so forgiving and understanding towards Paige. Even Nicholas's parents - who, of all people, I would have thought the opposite. After all, she up-and-left their precious only-child and prodigy son, jeopardized his career and his ability to do his job and be successful, which apparently is what they're all about. But no! They liked Paige because of it, decided she was good enough for Nicholas because she ran away - because she had the balls to stand up to him.

    Does that make any sense? I had a hard time wrapping my head around it.

    I didn't hate Paige. But I did think she did some REALLY stupid things. And Nicholas did aggravate me, but I could empathize with him.

    This is why, if you don't live near family (or don't talk or interact with family), and you have a baby - it is IMPERATIVE to have a support system in place, or consciously work towards establishing one. The fact that Paige only had three phone numbers in her address book was a huge red flag. I realize Nicholas wasn't home very often due to his career, but he still should have seen the warning signs. And Paige should have put her strong will (which apparently is not lacking in every other area of her life) to good use and used it to help herself before she got to the point of running away.

    I AM glad she found her mother and resolved issues that were in her past, but I guess what it comes down to is that there could have been a better way to do it.

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2008

    Harvesting the Heart review

    '...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.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2012

    Disappointed

    This is the only Jodi Picoult book that I did not finish. I usually love her books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2008

    omg! Am I the only one who ABSOULUTELY lovedd it?

    ok, I'm probably a lot younger the the others who wrote a review '13'but I personally LOVED this book. It kinda did take me awhile to read but I swear the descriptions and everythingg were great// I could see like a movie rolling in my head as I read it! This was the first Jodi Picoult book I've ever read but still. And yes I was a bit disappointed at the end, only because I wantedd to know more. Max was in the hospital and came out of surgery fiine, but did Nicholas and Paige work things out? Other then that WOW':

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2008

    I don't believe in titles.

    This book gratified my and ripped me apart. Picoult's words are a part of me, her use of language a constant thought in my mind. I've wanted to write [ publish ] all my life. I think i adored this book so because it touched me personally, as my other favorites do. It is one of the books i hold closest to my heart and my bedstand, for a late read, perphaps a friend, for some lonely night.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2014

    .

    .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    Highly recommended

    Same review as for Kristin Hannah!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2012

    Harvesting the heart

    Great read tugged at this mothers heart strings

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2012

    Ending

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2012

    So disappointing

    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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  • Posted March 29, 2012

    Great book.

    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.

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  • Posted March 12, 2012

    HIghly recommend

    Excellent as always.

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  • Posted August 21, 2011

    one of my favorite jodi books, a must read!

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  • Posted April 23, 2011

    GREAT BOOK A MUST READ!

    I have read most of Jodi Pocoults books and have loved them. Don't know why I haven't read this book earlier. Was not crazy about the ending, the book is over 400 pages and the end just left me wanting more......MUCH MORE! I could not put this book down.....even at work. :-)

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  • Posted December 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Couldn't put it down

    For her first novel I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. This book has a much lighter storyline than her recent novels. This is a much quicker read that had me hooked in the first chapter.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 18, 2010

    Disappointed !

    Harvesting The Heart was Jodi Picoult's worst book in my opinion. Unlike her other books this one didn't have the page turning drama and I had to force myself to read it sometimes. I would recommend this book to someone who is looking for a peaceful read about common family problems that a young man and woman is going through.
    The book is about a young girl named Paige that is struggling with the fact that her mother left her when she was five. She decides to give up her dreams as an artists and runs away from home. She meets a man named Nicholas who comes from a totally different world than Paige. Nicholas has everything handed to him since he was a baby and Paige a girl who's lost with no where to go in life. Despite the fact that they are two different people, they fall in love. When they decide to get married and when Paige gets pregnant none of them are ready for that kind of responsibility. The book covers every problem and drama that can happen to a young couple like Paige and Nicholas. Paige realizes she isn't ready to be a mother and Nicholas works hard for his career to grow as a cardiac surgeon, which leaves Paige and the baby always alone at the house. The ending in the book disappointed me because it was very expected something that surprised me since all of her other books have very surprising endings. Even though this is Picoult's worst book, I HIGHLY recommend that people read all of her other books because she grasps you in every book and page making you never want to put it down. Because this is Jodi's second novel its very hard to criticize her writing style since all the books she has written after that have been best sellers. This book shows how much she has improved as a writer and how much her writing style has changed for better.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Only Picoult book that has left me disappointed

    I have read almost every single Jodi Picoult book and always tear through them eagerly and wanting more. This time I was highly disappointed. The topic, though based upon morals and ethics like most her books, was lacking luster. None of the characters were likeable, nor could you identify with anyone. I normally purchase every Picoult book because I know I will want to reread it at some point, or loan to a friend, this one I just want to return. I definitely would not recommend this, she has so many other wonderful books, this one just missed the mark somehow.

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