Jodi Picoult is one of my favourite authors, her books really focus on life dilemmas and in some cases morality problems [as seen in My Sister’s Keeper]. This book is about a woman, Paige O’Toole, at 18 she’s runs away from home and ends up marrying a man nearly 10 years older than her not long after they have met. The main focus of the book though is when they have a baby and then she runs away because she can’t deal with motherhood. The book goes back through her life and takes you through the life events that have brought her to the person she is today. It also look at the life of her husband, Nicholas Prescott, a man much more privileged than her, in terms of upbringing and lifestyles they could not be much more different but when they meet they fall madly in love very fast. Switching between present day and their pasts whether that be their childhood, teenage years or only a couple of years previous, it’s a story that tells you everything about these two characters lives and lets you make your own opinions about them and their life choices.
I really enjoyed this book a lot, the subject of having a child is something that really does affect all women at some point in their lives whether it is something you want to do or not. Usually in books the subject of not being ready to have a child and running away from it is something that is not touched upon but I think it’s a really important thing to discuss. It’s not that she didn’t love her child, it’s just that she wasn’t prepared after some of the things that have happened in her life. Something I love about Jodi Picoult is her description of events, she really knows how to talk about something in print so that you get an idea what it is like. This is something she does really well in the chapter where Paige gives birth to her son. I’ve not had a child so I have no idea what that is like but the description she gives to the pain and emotion that occurs is the most honest thing I have ever read. Usually births are ignored, skipped over or just described as being fine but this really does let you know what it is like to be Paige at that moment.
I went through a lot of this book really hating Nicholas, he didn’t seem to understand his wife and he seemed too caught up in his own world being a heart surgeon to pay any attention to her. He is quite a nice guy the rest of the time but there was times when I just didn’t like him at all. I think what helped that hatred was that I completely related to Paige in many ways, there isn’t many times when I fully relate to characters but it happened here, she seems lost and confused something I think most people experience in their lives but her life just seemed very relatable to mine. I did enjoy this book a lot, it was well written and as with everything else Jodi Picoult writes it was very well researched, to the point where the heart surgery paragraphs were so realistic I felt I was there watching it and I did find that quite difficult to read as I am very squeamish. However, the ending disappointed me slightly, I’ll not say too much but it just ended and although it was a better ending than it could have been, in terms of story, a lot of things were just left open ended and you are left wondering at least what has happened in the present time. I feel like it could have been resolved a little bit better with another chapter just to tie up a few loose ends as for me it ended just that little bit too soon. Bar the ending it’s an excellent read and a book that I fully recommend.
Words by Charlotte Randall. ©