The dead row inmate in the novel of Jodi Picoult’s Change of Heart reminds me of the one in the story of The Green Mile. Coincidently, both men are black male who are convicted of harassing and killing young girls.In Change of Heart, Shay Bourne, a black male who works in June Nealon’s home to fix a hole in the attic ceiling, is convicted of killing both Elizabeth (June’s daughter from her first marriage) and Kurt (June's second husband). He is sentenced with death penalty. Eleven years later, Claire, June’s second daughter with Kurt, needs a heart transplant and only Shay Bourne’s heart is fitted for her and Shay has been urging the authority to let him save Claire. An attorney is helping him to change his way of death from lethal injection to hanging so that his heart would be suitable for transplant. While he is in jail, a series of miracle events happen and people believe that Shay has healing power like Jesus Christ.
The Change of Heart is my first reading of Picoult’s works. She explores issues on spiritual and death penalty through the story. The story is told in the view of first person of several characters, and their tones are differentiated by different type of font. It is quite confusing at the beginning but you will get used to it as you keep reading on.
What attracts me first to this book is not the story, but the book covers.
In most of Picoult’s books, the covers are designed with a photo of real people and a matching color scheme in a soft tone. The image created for the books is quite feminine in style which successfully appeals to female readers. In Change of Heart, it is a side view of a little girl with blonde hair wearing in pink dress under the shimmer of sunlight on the cover. The image echoes with the story: that a girl is in urgent need of heart transplant. The angelic photo of the girl helps readers to create an image for “Claire” the little girl in the story.
The photo tailor made for this book is taken by photographer Mike O’Toole and the model for “Claire” is his 9-year-old daughter, Sally O’Toole. Mike specializes in personal and advertising projects, and recently, he engages in cinematography as well. his works convey a feeling of tranquility and harmony, and as if he is trying to tell you a story through the images that he captured. Portfolio of his works can be found at his website: http://www.mikeotoole.com