Change of heartJodi PicoultSometimes we see what we want to, instead of what's in front of us. And sometimes, we don't see clearly at all.But Elizabeth Nealon will never learn how to do long division, or how to ride a horse,or do a back handspring.Change of heart Jodi Picoult
Sometimes we see what we want to, instead of what's in front of us. And sometimes, we don't see clearly at all. But Elizabeth Nealon will never learn how to do long division, or how to ride a horse, or do a back handspring. She'll never go to sleep away camp or her junior prom or high school graduation. She'll never try on her first pair of high heels or experience her first kiss. She'll never bring a boy home to meet her mother; she'll never be walked down a wedding aisle by her stepfather; she'll never get to know her sister, Claire. She will miss all of these moments, and a thousand more—not because of a tragedy like a car accident or childhood leukemia—but like a car accident or childhood leukemia—but because Shay Bourne made the decision that she didn't deserve any of these things. In the space between yes and no, there's a lifetime. It's the difference between the path you walk and one you leave behind; it's the gap between who you thought you could be and who you really are; it's the legroom for the lies you'll tell yourself in the future. Maybe none of us could compensate for what we'd done wrong in the past, but that didn't mean we couldn't make our futures matter more ... Shay was ready to die; he wanted to die. He wasn't just giving Claire Nealon a future; he was giving one to her mother, too. He wasn't trying to save the world, like Father Michael, his a spiritual advisor. Just one life at a time—which is why he had a fighting chance of succeeding. You could only save someone who wanted to be saved; otherwise, you'd be dragged down for the count, too. You stick a candle into the dark, but you can't stick the dark into the light. “There's light inside a man of light and Shay always said. "It can light up the whole world.“ And the light for Shay was donating his hearth to Claire,even if Father Michael believes the only way to find salvation was to admit his guilt and seek absolution through Jesus. But giving Claire Nealon his heart wasn't going to bring her sister back to life. According to Father Michael God loved Shay whether or not he gave up his organs, whether or not he has made mistakes in the past. “Christ can save you, Shay “ Father Michael always said. But “Christ can't give Claire Nealon a heart.”, Shay thought. He didn’t need to find God. He didn't want catechism, all he wanted to know is whether, after he was killed, he could save a little girl. He thought that If he had brought forth what was inside him, it would have saved him. On the contrary, it would have destroyed him. He truly felt that he wouldn't rest in peace unless he could donate his heart to Claire Nealon. He didn't know if she wanted it, but she needed it. And here there is s a big difference between mercy and salvation. June, Claire's mother, could forgive Shay. But only God could redeem him. Salvation's not a personal responsibility. You don't have to get salvation. You're given it, by Jesus. Like Shay, Jesus didn't take credit for his miracles. Like Shay, Jesus had known he was going to die. And the Bible even said Jesus was supposed to be returning.
It's funny how when you are dying, you still fight for the upper hand. You want to pick the terms; you want to choose the date. You'll tell yourself anything you have to, to pretend that you're still the one in control. The dead aren't alive and the living don't die: religion was supposed to be a blanket drawn up to your chin to keep you warm, a promise that when it came to the end, you wouldn't die alone—but it could just as easily leave you shivering out in the cold, if what you believed became more important than the fact that you believed. When you're different, sometimes you don't see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the one person who doesn't. Shay knew what Jesus had said: Don't pay back in kind, pay back in kindness. If someone does wrong to you, do right by them. Redemption had very little to do with the big picture, and far more to do with the particulars. Jesus might forgive Shay, but what good was that if Shay didn't forgive himself? “What do you think is easier?” Shay always asked. "Knowing you're going to die on a certain date and time, or knowing it might happen any moment when you least expect it? Shay was—maybe for the first time in his life—attempting to do something honorable. The Jesus Father Michael knew believed in second chances. A man should live his life a certain way not because of some divine authority, but because of a personal moral obligation to himself and others. But in a world where things happen that shouldn't, you find yourself saying and doing things that are the complete opposite of what you mean. And Father Michael thought being a spiritual advisor meant doing what Shay Bourne needs to face his death with peace—not what we need him to do, as a good Catholic. Shay considered himself not a religious man. He had not attended a service for many years. But He did do believe in God. His own practice of religion is a non practice But just because this is how he chose to fashion his faith didn't mean that he was ignorant about formal religion. In fact, some of the things he learned as a young man studying for his bar mitzvah resonate with me even then. It seemed to him that no matter what religion you subscribe to, acts of kindness are the stepping-stones to making the world a better place—because we become better people in it. In the end it did not matter whether or not Shay was truly messianic, or just a good showman. It mattered that a lot of people had someone to believe in. Father Michael didn't know if Shay was guilty of murder, or innocent and misunderstood. He didn't know if he was the Messiah, or a savant who channeled texts he'd never read. He didn't know if they were making history, or only reliving it. Everyone knows that it's wrong to execute an innocent man. The real question is whether it's still wrong to execute someone who's guilty.
Jodie Picoult really captures what it would be like to have to make such a hard decision and what one does in order to protect the ones they love. This book had some brilliant twists which I really was not expecting.
I enjoyed every second of this book. I couldn't put it down. Very enjoyable. I would most definitely recommend this to a friend. Jodi Picoult tackles subjects you don't normally read about, this is no exception. I loved it.