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4 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z

This title in other editions

Mercy

by

Mercy Cover

 

 

Reading Group Guide

Mercy

Readers Guide

Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. To what degree is the title a metaphor for this novel?

2. Are Jamie's actions justified? What about Cam's? Allie's?

3. Who is the author of the "notes" between the chapters? Whom are these snippets addressing? Did you believe this throughout the book?

4. Jamie says, "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." Do you agree?

5. In what ways does Mia's memory of her parents' love influence her relationship with Cam?

6. Who is the most selfish character? The most selfless?

7. In what ways are Cam and Jamie similar?

8. How is Cameron MacDonald like his namesake ancestor? How is he different? To what extent does the Scottish history of this clan affect his decisions?

9. What is the significance of the moments in Mercy that are magical or somewhat unreal?

10. There is a catch-22 in Mia and Cam's relationship: They have each fallen in love with a person who would no longer exist if they were to run off together. Do you agree or disagree with this statement, and why?

11. Is there a hero in this book?

12. What attracts Allie to Jamie? To Cam? What attracts Mia to Cam, and Cam to Mia? Do you believe that we try to find in the people we love parts of our personalities that are lacking?

13. At the end of chapter 17, Cam "wondered how he had so quickly gone from holding everything he wanted in the palm of his hand to having absolutely nothing at all. He wondered how he could have been so blinded by something shiny and new and elusive that he couldn't at least give equal credit for the strength of something stable, and strong, and his." Do you think his feelings are heartfelt? Do you agree?

14. Why did Picoult choose to make Jamie a pioneer in virtual reality?

15. How has Jamie changed by the end of the book?

16. What will happen to Cam and Allie? To Mia? To Jamie?

17. Is this novel about love, or loyalty? Are they the same thing?

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Ellen Reader, October 24, 2009 (view all comments by Ellen Reader)
I was up all night reading Jodi Picault's immensely compelling novel, MERCY, which deals with multiple relationship issues, including that of women -- and some men -- who value themselves so little that they immerse themselves entirely in the lives, needs and desires of those they love, and in the process step over established moral boundaries to their own detriment.

Allie, exceedingly devoted wife of Cameron MacDonald, the local police chief who also happens to be laird of a Scottish clan transplanted to rural Massachusetts, is on hand when Jamie MacDonald, a distant cousin of Cameron's, arrives in town with his adored and terminally ill wife Maggie, whom he admits killing at her request. Cameron, unhappily held in place by clan expectations and inherited responsibilities, does not offer the traditional protection Jamie has come seeking from his laird, but relents enough to hire -- anonymously -- a young, untried lawyer to defend Jamie.

The lawyer draws Allie into the preliminary investigation, and she discovers enough strength and capability that when Cameron's affair with Allie's florist shop assistant Mia Townsend comes to light, she is able to take action. At one point Allie calmly moves all Cameron's belongings into the yard -- his uniforms, boots and underwear, his favorite chair and ancient Scottish clan paraphernalia -- and sells the lot to the neighbors.

The story is stitched together with information about the language of flowers, dowsing, and old Scottish lore in such a way that the personalities and interrelationships of dead Maggie and her husband Jamie, the defense attorney, Cameron and Allie, Mia, Cameron's new-age mother Ellen, and his aged MacDonald great-uncle Angus, who sees things, are brought together -- in and out of the courtroom -- in a deep and thoughtful exploration of "love," "loyalty," "belonging," and "mercy."


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brook Kelly, December 23, 2007 (view all comments by brook Kelly)
I have been reading Jodi Picoult for a while now, and have always enjoyed her novels, until this one. This book focused a lot on Cam's adultery, which was annoying in and of itself. Interspersed here and there was content dealing with Jamie and Maggie and what the book was supposed to be about. I was disappointed by what a predictable turn this book ended up taking. I had to force myself to finish the story, and even then, I skimmed the last 80 pages or so. I'd recommend reading Tino Georgiou's novel--The Fates--instead, if you haven't yet!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780743422444
Author:
Picoult, Jodi
Publisher:
Washington Square Press
Author:
Jodi Picoult
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Massachusetts
Subject:
Adultery
Subject:
Suspense
Subject:
Romance - General
Subject:
Romance - Contemporary
Subject:
Married people
Subject:
Euthanasia
Subject:
Legal stories
Subject:
Cousins
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Police chiefs
Subject:
White collar crimes
Subject:
Fiction : Romance - Contemporary
Subject:
Fiction : Suspense
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Subject:
family drama; women s fiction; lifetime movies; my sister s keeper; cameron diaz; abigail breslin; wolf research; the storyteller; school violence; cancer; child abuse; divorce; book club; new hampshire; beach read; chick lit; new england; princeton; hear
Subject:
family drama; women s fiction; lifetime movies; my sister s keeper; cameron diaz; abigail breslin; wolf research; the storyteller; school violence; cancer; child abuse; divorce; book club; new hampshire; beach read; chick lit; new england; princeton; hear
Subject:
family drama; women s fiction; lifetime movies; my sister s keeper; cameron diaz; abigail breslin; wolf research; the storyteller; school violence; cancer; child abuse; divorce; book club; new hampshire; beach read; chick lit; new england; princeton; hear
Subject:
family drama; women s fiction; lifetime movies; my sister s keeper; cameron diaz; abigail breslin; wolf research; the storyteller; school violence; cancer; child abuse; divorce; book club; new hampshire; beach read; chick lit; new england; princeton; hear
Copyright:
Edition Description:
B102
Series Volume:
106-996
Publication Date:
April 2001
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8.31x5.31x1.12 in. .82 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Suspense
Fiction and Poetry » Romance » Contemporary
Fiction and Poetry » Romance » General
Fiction and Poetry » Romance » Suspense

Mercy Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$1.50 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9780743422444 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , 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.

"Synopsis" by , 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.

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