Audiobook Review: Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult

Title: Harvesting the Heart
Author: Jodi Picoult
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Publisher: Penguin
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Cassandra Campbell
First line: Nicholas won’t let me into my own house, but I have been watching my family from a distance.

Paige has spent almost her whole life wondering why her mother left her, and that abandonment has permeated every area of her life. When she feels trapped into a heart-breaking decision right before high school graduation, she leaves her hometown – and loving father – behind and starts over in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She soon meets Nicholas, a medical student studying to be a heart surgeon. They couldn’t be more different, but that’s what draws them together, and so, in spite of Nicholas’ parents’ disapproval, they jump headfirst into marriage. But when their first child is born, Paige’s mother issues come back to the surface, forcing her to deal with things once and for all – or lose her family.

Jodi Picoult is an author with whom I have an interesting reading relationship. I either love her books or dislike them immensely. My Sister’s Keeper, Perfect Match, Nineteen Minutes? Love. Songs of the Humpback Whale, and now, Harvesting the Heart? Dislike. I won’t say hate, because I did finish the darn thing, but it was not a like, that’s for sure.

My biggest issue is that this book is simply too long. It could have had about one-third edited out, and not lost any of the story or character development. Which I liked – I did like the characters. Except for the husband, Nicholas. I thought he was a total you-know-what, and couldn’t begin to understand why Paige was so desperate to save her marriage to him.

That said, I did want to know how it ended. And until I listened to the last five minutes, I probably would have given the book a three-star rating. But then it ended. Only it didn’t. Do I know what happened to Paige and Nicholas and their marriage? No, I don’t. And that really made me mad – especially since I invested fourteen discs worth of audiobook on them!

Honestly, though, what kept me listening was the fact that one of my all-time favorite narrators read the book. Cassandra Campbell has read some of my very favorite audiobooks (Adriana Trigiani’s Valentine series, for starters), and I could listen to her read almost anything. Which is proven by the fact that I listened to this entire book.

This entry was posted in audiobooks, contemporary fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Audiobook Review: Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult

  1. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    I’ve got that same relationship with her too. She often can get down in the dark, nitty gritty stuff that just makes my stomach turn, which I guess is a testament to her writing. But she is also a research queen, and sometimes that can make her books too lengthy. Also, I wouldn’t call her predictable, but she is very formulaic. But I love Campbell. I’d listen to her do anything.

  2. Beth F
    Twitter: BethFishReads

    I know, I know — I have stuck w/ some audios just for the narrator. 🙂

    I haven’t yet read a Picoult.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Candace – the narrators really make it or break it, don’t they? If you ever do decide to try a Picoult, Nineteen Minutes, read by Carol Monda, is excellent on audio.

  3. Melissa
    Twitter: myeclecticbooks

    Wow…that sounds incredibly frustrating. I’ve never read Picoult…seems like she is very popular…

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Melissa – She is very popular but I know a lot of people that find her hit and miss.

  4. bermudaonion (Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion

    I’ve only read a few of her books and I did enjoy them. It sounds like this one could have used a good editing.