Lakeland Book Club

Reading good books with good friends in North Idaho

Mercy | November, 2007 November 1, 2007

Filed under: Reading List — lakelandreads @ 12:00 pm
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Mercy by Jodi Picoult

Selected by Rachel Maughan

From Amazon.com:

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 shocking betrayal, Allie faces the hardest questions of the heart: when does love cross the line of moral obligation? And what does it mean to truly love another?

Praised for her “personal, detail-rich style” (Glamour), Jodi Picoult infuses this page-turning novel with heart, warmth, and startling candor, taking readers on an unforgettable emotional journey.

This book was selected because:

I choose this book for several reasons:

  • There is a quote in the book about relationships:  “You know it’s never fifty-fifty in a marriage. It’s always seventy-thirty, or sixty-forty. Someone falls in love first. Someone puts someone else up on a pedestal. Someone works very hard to keep things rolling smoothly; someone else sails along for the ride.”  I was curious to find out what others thought about this, because I have found this be true in every relationship that I have been in – that sometimes you give more and sometimes you get more, but it’s never equal and usually one person does the majority of the giving and one person does the majority of the getting.  At the time I read this book, I was in a relationship that felt like it was seventy-thirty and he was just along for the ride, and one of my good friends was struggling with his marriage because he felt like it was eighty-twenty and that his wife never contributed to the marriage.  He was trying to decide whether it was best to stay married for his kids, even though he and his wife barely spoke and he did the majority of the parenting (she only worked two days a week, yet still took the kids to daycare if he wasn’t home because she didn’t feel comfortable with them by herself) or if an unhappy marriage, with parents who didn’t talk and a mom who was more concerned with herself than her own children, would damage their kids more than divorcing and raising his kids on his own.
  • I was also still not sure where I personally stood on euthanasia, and I liked that this book explored the topic from every perspective.  I do believe that everyone should have the right to choose for themselves, but I don’t know if I would ever be able to make that choice for myself or ever love someone to the extent that Jamie loved his wife to be able to make the choices he did.  (Although this book was not really about euthanasia – it’s about the different ways that people love each other in relationships.)
  • One of my friends was involved with someone who was married, and it made me realize that while everyone says that they would never have an affair, it’s never as easy as everyone makes it seem.  Sometimes one small, insignificant choice can put you in a place you never expected to be in and lead to consequences you could never have predicted.
  • And finally, I absolutely love Jodi Picoult and her writing style.  I love reading books that are well-written and take me to a completely different world and challenge me to really think about why I think the way I do.
–   Rachel