Mercy by Jodi Picoult

July 21, 2008 at 5:59 pm 3 comments

Dear Jodi,

Oh, Jodi, Jodi, Jodi. What were you thinking here? I mean, I loved Plain Truth. I even referenced it in another post because I liked it so much. It felt so real, and so researched, and so amazing that I lauded you as the girl who graduated Princeton and became a fantastic writer.

Apparently it didn’t happen that fast. Or you messed up along the way somewhere. Because somehow, you managed to produce Mercy, a book that, while it has some wonderful imagery and ideas, was possessed with the kind of absurdity I would never have expected from you.

Number one, how is it possible for everyone in the town to be related if the protagonist married a woman from his hometown? If he married his cousin, just say so. But it seems like everyone in the town is related except for her, and that gets confusing. It’s a little like asking where Cain found his wife, you know?

Number two, I find it hard to believe that you can so easily translate a Scottish clan leader from the 1700s to a modern-day police chief in a small town. I mean, maybe. But I really think you pushed the Scottish thing too far. These people are American. Their ancestors might have been Scottish, they may have Scottish heritage, but none of them should be breaking out into brogues. Which, unfortunately, the main character does more than once. This being a man who lived in Scotland only briefly, twenty years ago.

Number three, the affair? Ugh. What in God’s name were you trying to do there? The main character’s affair was everything the relationship in Plain Truth was not – overblown and characterized with a passion that I am pretty sure you stole out of that month’s Harlequin Romance. The flowers were a nice touch, but not enough to rescue it.

Finally, and I hate to say this, but you managed to make me hate almost every character in this book. The main character was a jerk and a cheat and a fake, his wife needed to grow a pair, his lover needed to get over herself and stop being so bloody free-spirited, his cousin needed to come to terms with the fact that even though he killed his wife out of love, it’s still a murder, and his cousin’s wife needed to realize that perhaps asking her husband to kill her might have some unpleasant consequences for him. Like jail time.

That’s not to say that they were badly drawn, I’m just saying, I wanted someone to root for. I did like the lawyer, though, so well done there. (Side note: All your lawyers are sympathetic, and at least one is really heart-wrenchingly hot. Are you perchance married to a lawyer?)

I’m glad you’ve changed and grown since this, Jodi. I can only hope that My Sister’s Keeper is better, proving that Plain Truth is a true representation of your work, and not just a fluke.

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Entry filed under: Contemporary Fiction.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. rose :)  |  September 9, 2008 at 4:13 am

    god that was a bad book. My Sisters Keeper was better with a twist at the end I liked but again you probably figured it out long before the end of the book.

    Reply
  • 2. KT  |  September 9, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Ha, I hadn’t, actually. I figured that somehow Katie would get the kidney or liver or whatever she needed, but I didn’t know how and I certainly did not see THAT coming.

    Reply
  • […] so many romance novels tend to be. There is literally no more sex in this book than there is in the average Jodi Picoult novel, and though the previous owner of my copy of this book had thoughtfully dogeared the pages with the […]

    Reply

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