Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels, including Small Great Things, Leaving Time, The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister's Keeper. She is also the author, with daughter Samantha van Leer, of two young adult novels, Between the Lines and Off the Page. Picoult lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.
Picoult ( Songs of the Humpback Whales ) brings her considerable talents to this contemporary story of a young woman in search of her identity. Abandoned by her mother when she was five years old, Paige O'Toole has been left with painful doubts about her self-worth. She leaves her Chicago home for Cambridge, Mass., at 18 to fulfill herself as an artist, but must work in a diner because she can't afford art school. When she marries Harvard medical student Nicholas Prescott, his parents disown him, disapproving of their Irish Catholic daughter-in-law. Again Paige is forced to sideline her creative needs and work as a waitress in order to support Nicholas until he is able to establish his career as a cardiac surgeon. Paige is soon overwhelmed by the demands of Nicholas's socially sophisticated world, and after the birth of their son, Max, she becomes emotionally and physically exhausted. Unable to communicate her terrors about herself to Nicholas, she leaves him to search for her mother, who may hold the answers to her life. Told in flashbacks, this is a realistic story of childhood and adolescence, the demands of motherhood, the hard paths of personal growth and the generosity of spirit required by love. Picoult's imagery is startling and brilliant; her characters move credibly through this affecting drama. ( Nov. )
In her second novel, the author of Songs of the Humpback Whale ( LJ 5/15/92) recounts with power and grace a young woman's efforts to achieve ``grandeur . . . andthe ability to be comfortable in the world.'' Paige O'Toole Prescott, a gifted portraitist, sets aside her art to support her husband, Nicholas, during his medical training. His wealthy parents reject Paige, who already suffers from self-doubt after being abandoned by her mother. Despite Nicholas's success as a surgeon and the young couple's love for each other, the birth of their son catapults them into emotional crisis. Paige's resulting quest for courage and self-confidence forces Nicholas, her parents, and her in-laws to reevaluate their attitudes, standards, and behavior. Picoult considers various forces that can unite or fracture families and examines the complexities of the human heart both literally and figuratively. Highly recommended.-- Jane S. Bakerman, Indiana State Univ., Terre Haute
"Picoult writes with a fine touch, a sharp eye for detail, and a
firm grasp of the delicacy and complexity of human
-The Boston Globe
"Picoult has become a master-almost a clairvoyant-at targeting
hot issues and writing highly readable page-turners about them . .
. It is impossible not to be held spellbound by the way she forces
us to think, hard, about right and wrong."
-The Washington Post