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Harvesting the Heart

by

Harvesting the Heart Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Jodi Picoult earned rave notices for her debut novel, Songs of the Humpback Whale. Now this gifted young writer turns her considerable literary talents to the story of a young woman overcome by the demands of having a family. Written with astonishing clarity and evocative detail, convincing in its depiction of emotional pain, love, and vulnerability, Harvesting the Heart recalls the writing of Alice Hoffman and Sue Miller.

Paige has only a few vivid memories of her mother, who left when she was five. Now, having left her father behind in Chicago for dreams of art school and marriage to an ambitious young doctor, she finds herself with a child of her own. But her mother's absence, and shameful memories of her past, make her doubt both her maternal ability and her sense of self worth. Out of Paige's struggle to find wholeness, Jodi Picoult crafts an absorbing novel peopled by richly drawn characters and explores issues and emotions readers can relate to.

Review:

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. Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Jodi Picoult’s Captivating Second Novel
 
From the New York Times bestselling author of My Sister’s Keeper, Lone Wolf, and the forthcoming The Storyteller, Harvesting the Heart is written with astonishing clarity and evocative detail, convincing in its depiction of emotional pain, love, and vulnerability, and recalls the writing of Alice Hoffman and Kristin Hannah. Paige has only a few vivid memories of her mother, who left when she was five. Now, having left her father behind in Chicago for dreams of art school and marriage to an ambitious young doctor, she finds herself with a child of her own. But her mother's absence, and shameful memories of her past, make her doubt both her maternal ability and her sense of self worth. Out of Paige's struggle to find wholeness, Jodi Picoult crafts an absorbing novel peopled by richly drawn characters and explores issues and emotions readers can relate to.

“A brilliant, moving examination of motherhood, brimming with detail and emotion.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Jodi Picoult explores the fragile ground of ambivalent motherhood in her lush second novel. This story belongs to… the lucky reader.” —The New York Times Book Review

Synopsis:

The author of Picture Perfect "explores the fragile ground of ambivalent motherhood" (New York Times Book Review). Paige's mother left when she was five. When Paige becomes a mother herself, she is overwhelmed by the demands. Unable to forget her past, Paige struggles with the difficulties of marriage and motherhood.

About the Author

Jodi Picoult is the 2003 New England Book Award Winner for Fiction, honoring her for her body of work.

Picoult was born and raised — happily — on Long Island. "I had such an uneventful childhood that much later, when I was taking writing classes at college, I called home and yelled at my mother, wishing for a little incest or abuse on the side," recalls Picoult. "Good writers, I thought at the time, had to have something to write about. It took me a while to realize that I already did have something to write about — that solid core of family, and of relationships, which seem to form a connective thread through my books."

Her novels, which all center on what it means to love someone, have come out in rapid-fire succession: Songs of the Humpback Whale (1992), which Picoult wrote when she was six months pregnant with her first child; Harvesting the Heart (1994), which she describes as a reflection of her feelings as a new mother — and her most emotionally autobiographical novel; Picture Perfect (1995); Mercy (1996), a novel about married love and if it's really 50/50 (Picoult says she and husband Tim are still debating this); The Pact (1998); Keeping Faith (1999); Plain Truth (2000); Salem Falls (2001); Perfect Match; and Second Glance 2003 .

Picoult says she really learned to write at Princeton, where she studied creative writing with Mary Morris, who urged her to submit a story to Seventeeen magazine. Picoult was stunned when they published it and a second story a bit later. "That's when I thought I could be a writer," says Picoult.

However, when she graduated from Princeton, she headed not for the word processor, but for Wall Street, and followed that with stints at a textbook publishing company and an ad agency. She also taught creative writing part-time at a high school, got her master's degree in education at Harvard, and married Tim, whom she'd known at Princeton. Soon she was pregnant and had written a thousand page manuscript, which became Songs of the Humpback Whale.

It took a while, but Picoult says she has reconciled writing and motherhood. "I'm a better mother because I have my writing and I'm a better writer because of the experiences of motherhood that have shaped me." At this point, Picoult sees her list of novels growing, but not her family.

"There's nothing more interesting than crawling into a character's head — a head I created, that nonetheless seems to have a mind all its own."

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Jennmarie68, March 12, 2010 (view all comments by Jennmarie68)
I loved this book. It was such a touching story. I was so captivated by the characters that I just let myself get lost in the story. It only took me a few hours to read it.

The character development was great. I loved Paige and Nicholas. Even the secondary characters were great. I had great images of them all, and I could even hear the accents in their voices as I read. I think Nicholas comes off as being a bit superficial and at times a real jerk but I almost understood where he was coming from and felt that he was justified in his actions (sometimes).

The story was very good. Picoult did a great job with the narration changes, which I think can sometimes make a story seem choppy. The changes didn't affect the flow of the story at all.

The story spans quite a bit of time, and I found myself forgetting that so many years had passed but that didn't really take away from the story.

I really liked this one. It wasn't an excellent book, but it was pretty good. It was a quick read and it was easy to attach to the characters. If you like chick lit this is a good one to pick up. This was the first of Picoult's books that I've actually read, but I've added her to my list of favorite authors.
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carlymarie, October 11, 2009 (view all comments by carlymarie)
This was my first introduction to Jodi Picoult. Very readable. There were several moments that hit close to home... the mother daughter relationship is one that might speak to many adult daughters out there. Surely the fears of new motherhood will find an audience. It is one of those books I'll think back to years from now.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780140230277
Author:
Picoult, Jodi
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Author:
Campbell, Cassandra
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Women
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Family life
Subject:
Women -- United States.
Subject:
Literature-Family Life
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Series Volume:
1908-3
Publication Date:
19950431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
8.26x5.25x1.17 in. .87 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life

Harvesting the Heart New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.00 In Stock
Product details 464 pages Penguin Books - English 9780140230277 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , 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. Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,

Jodi Picoult’s Captivating Second Novel
 
From the New York Times bestselling author of My Sister’s Keeper, Lone Wolf, and the forthcoming The Storyteller, Harvesting the Heart is written with astonishing clarity and evocative detail, convincing in its depiction of emotional pain, love, and vulnerability, and recalls the writing of Alice Hoffman and Kristin Hannah. Paige has only a few vivid memories of her mother, who left when she was five. Now, having left her father behind in Chicago for dreams of art school and marriage to an ambitious young doctor, she finds herself with a child of her own. But her mother's absence, and shameful memories of her past, make her doubt both her maternal ability and her sense of self worth. Out of Paige's struggle to find wholeness, Jodi Picoult crafts an absorbing novel peopled by richly drawn characters and explores issues and emotions readers can relate to.

“A brilliant, moving examination of motherhood, brimming with detail and emotion.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Jodi Picoult explores the fragile ground of ambivalent motherhood in her lush second novel. This story belongs to… the lucky reader.” —The New York Times Book Review

"Synopsis" by , The author of Picture Perfect "explores the fragile ground of ambivalent motherhood" (New York Times Book Review). Paige's mother left when she was five. When Paige becomes a mother herself, she is overwhelmed by the demands. Unable to forget her past, Paige struggles with the difficulties of marriage and motherhood.

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