Sunday, June 11, 2006
Mercy - Jodi Picoult [June/06]
My second Picoult novel, yay! She reminds me of Lurlene McDaniel's in many ways, but she takes the tragic circumstances that take the children in McDaniel's novels and transfers them to an older audience. From the back of the book:
Police chief of a small Massachusetts town, Cameron McDonald makes the toughest arrest of his life when his own cousin Jamie comes to him and confesses outright that he has killed his terminally ill wife out of mercy.
Now, a heated murder trial plunges the town into upheaval, and drives a wedge into a contented marriage: Cameron, aiding the prosecution in their case against Jamie, is suddenly at odds with his devoted wife. Allie - seduced by the idea of a man so in love with his wife that he'd grant all her wishes, even her wish to end her life. And when an inexplicable attraction leads to a socking betrayal, Allie faces the hardest question of the heart: when does love cross the line of moral obligation? And what does it mean to truly love another?
This book read meets a goal. I have a pile by my bed, it is the unfinished grave yard. I have been digging up some of the treasures and trying to find my table! It isn't that I didn't like the books, it is that I had other things going on and forgot about them! So, Mercy was one of those buried treasures!
First things first, what a sad book! There is not much else to say than that. Despite the fact it took me longer than it should have to read it, you really do get sucked into Jamie's situation. When he drives up to the police station with his wives body in the car, it really is a moment where you are stunned. It comes down to, why on earth did he kill his wife and then get so upset about it? Normally murder is not devastating for those that murder, so you soon know there is more to the story. Especially when they try to take the body away, his pain is raw let me tell you.
There are a couple things going on in this book. After Jamie tells the police chief, Cameron, about his wives illness and how she asks him to end her suffering before she gets any worse, there is the trial. We witness the scenes in the courtroom, but we also get to see the planning that went into the trial. Some people hated Jamie for what he had done, but others seemed to think that he had made the right choice and were doing everything they could to help him out. Allie, Cameron's wife, was his biggest supporter. She is the one that loved the most, as Jamie put it, and she found herself wondering what would happen to her and Cameron if that were to come about. In the meantime, she learns a lot about both loving and the man that she married. She is a sweet woman who is dedicated to her husband.
Then there is Cameron. He was forced back home to be the unoffical clan leader to these Scottish descendents. That meant being the police chief in many respects. He had no choice in the matter, his father died and it was expected of him. He is going through a period where he is starting to feel trapped and restless, something that leads him to make a choice that will affect many people. He is growing up in the novel, and moving towards a point where he is at terms with his life and the job that he holds.
Then, there is the love story. The novel goes back in the past and tells the story of Jamie and Maggie. If nothing else, we learn about how they came to have met and by the end of the novel, no matter how the court case comes out, we know that Jamie loved Maggie. It is too bad that their time together was cut short by such a devastating illness. There are scenes in this novel, all the things lost and never reclaimed that make your heart break and tears come to your eyes.