As a huge Jodi Picoult fan, I have to admit to being a little disappointed in this book. All the usual elements were there, a moral dilemma, an in-depth look at a career choice and Jodi’s excellent prose, but the characters were not as imaginative as I am used to – Paige, the poor troubled girl with Mummy issues marries Nicholas, the rich and pretentious doctor. I really liked Paige’s ability to draw people’s souls into their portraits and wish Jodi had done more with this quirk that brought the character to life, but unfortunately she did not and as there was no huge plot twist at the end (as is usual), it read as a modern romance for an older reader.
As it is Jodi’s second novel after Songs of the Humpback Whale, which I just could not get into (thankfully I started reading Jodi’s later novels first), it could just be that she is still finding her true voice with this novel.
In many parts it just did not read as believable, e.g. the ease with which Paige found herself a job at the Hospital to enable her to be close to Nicholas, and I found it particularly hard to warm to the characters as they (and Paige’s mother) came across as selfish. There wasn’t enough emphasis given to Paige’s self-doubt as a mother (which was the most realistic aspect to the plot) to grab you and keep hold of you when the story then becomes a tired will they/won’t they get back together romance.
‘You love your baby, but you just can’t cope with being a mother. What would you do?’ 5/10