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Harvesting the Heart

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  28,850 ratings  ·  1,985 reviews
From the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Leaving Time

Paige has only a few vivid memories of her mother, who abandoned her at five years old. 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 force her
Paperback, 454 pages
Published April 1st 1995 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 1993)
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My Sister's Keeper by Jodi PicoultNineteen Minutes by Jodi PicoultThe Pact by Jodi PicoultPlain Truth by Jodi PicoultHandle with Care by Jodi Picoult
Best Jodi Picoult Books
18th out of 23 books — 1,383 voters
The Help by Kathryn StockettWater for Elephants by Sara GruenThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniRoom by Emma Donoghue
2011: What the Over 35s Have Read So Far
101st out of 1,764 books — 452 voters

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Jul 16, 2008 Jen rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one--not even Picoult fans
This book lacked what I like about Jodi Picoult books--twisting plot lines, multiple, relatable characters

I thought the plot was highly predictable. I didn't care for the main character--a young woman whose mother left her at five, had an abortion at 18, had a kid and didn't think she would be a good mother b/c she didn't have one and aborted her first baby.

I didn't relate to the marital problems. I couldn't understand why the two characters ever got married in the first place-they were from ver
Generally speaking, I love the author. While it was decent, this book didn't live up to my high expectations of her. The entire novel was centered around only 2 characters. I'm a huge fan of character development, but it seemed like she was trying to convince herself as well as the reader of the character's motivations by repetition.

Spoiler alert - Basically it boils down to rich boy meets eccentric girl with a past. Boy unknowingly trys to change the very things he fell in love with. Girl becom
"He wandered off, leaving me wondering why white people named girl babies things like Hope and Faith and Patience - names they could never live up to - and black mothers called their daughters Mercy, Deliverance, Salvation - crosses they'd always have to bear."

"That someone like [him] could want me was still overwhelming. He held me the way a child holds a snowflake, lightly, as if he knew in the back of his mind I might disappear in the blink of an eye. He wore his self-assurance like a soft ov
I read this book this spring and it was a hard book for me to read. It is about a girl whose mother walks out on her and her father when she is a little girl. The girl then spends the rest of her life trying to make sense of that. Her hopes as a young girl were that her mother would come back for her. Subsequently, she kept a packed suitcase under her bed most her childhood. By the time she is graduating high school, she knows that she too must leave her father and her life behind to try and fin ...more
Carey Henderson
Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors, so when I found this novel for .75 at a library book sale AND I had never read it, it was all I could do to hold back the squeals & not make a complete fool out of myself. Jodi Picoult writes about hot, current topics in a fictional way (suicide, stem cell research, kidnappings, murders, school shootings etc), topics that are unfortunately all to common. She puts “stories” behind these issues & makes you think about these topics, how would you ...more
This book was alright. Both main characters were annoying as all hell, just complaining about how their spouse wouldn't be more caring to them and pay attention. They pretty much ignored each other the first half of the book, and then BAM! Paige leaves and then their marriage falls apart. But in the end they still love each other. Um, happy ending? Yes. Would happen in real life? Hells no. See, LaPierre, happy books aren't real.
Debbie Lancaster
I longed to be a mother. I wanted children, lots of them. I have four of the most beautiful people you could ever meet. Motherhood is hard! Taking care of a newborn is difficult. There were times I wished the children would just go away but I never thought of leaving. Some people never have children because they can't find it in their hearts to share and give of themselves. Some walk away from their children. Some women abort. We form opinions and judge. Are they selfish? A bad person? A bad mot ...more
As much as I like jodi Picoult books, this definitely wasn't one of my favorites. It probably was my least favorite of all of her books. I did love her descriptions of people, places, and events but some of it was way overdone. She seemed to ramble on and on about previous events in the characters' lives or some odd description of a place they once visited or experienced.

The story is about a young woman who runs away from her home in Chicago and finds herself in Cambridge. She waits tables and
Petra Xtra Crunchy
I hadn't wanted to read another Jodi Picoult. After starting on the high note of My Sister's Keeper and working my way through a totally formulaic series always with a twist at the end, I didn't hold out much hope for this book but it was the only one I had for a long night in a hotel in a foreign land.

It was quite different in that it was distinctly overwritten, and in parts quite beautifully-written too. Usually I think of Picoult as a storyteller whose characters are somewhat sketchy ciphers
Marieanne Fabiano
This book was most definitely not awesome! I disliked each of the characters, who each had no redeeming qualities and yet, I could not put it down. It's one of those books that you hate reading, but that you must see through to the end. In short, this is a story about a woman (Paige) who was abandoned by her mother at the age of 5. When Paige turns 18, she has an abortion and runs away from home. Her new home becomes Boston and in just a few short days of living there, Paige meets Nicholas, an u ...more
This book was really bad. It had the feel of one of those insipid made-for-tv movies.

I’ve read several of Picoult’s other novels. They often have some kind of topical theme. Not exactly the most thought provoking works, they usually present the theme in a somewhat entertaining fashion. This novel (with its theme of ambiguous motherhood) was a complete disappointment.

Perhaps the worst aspect is character development (or lack thereof). The young mother is not sympathetic. She’s self destructive,

Harvesting the Heart – Jodi Picoult

I do quite enjoy Jodi Picoult's books but have started to find them a bit formulaic. this one is a bit different. I thought when I read this that it must be a newer book but it is apparently one of her older works. I have to say I prefer this to others she wrote later then.

She still takes a controversial subject and this time it is post natal depression/ struggling with motherhood. This is combined with attitudes of those who have been brought up to think they
Jodi Picoults worst. The characters were so dull and predictable--the pretentious, unemotional and rich doctor, the confused, artsy, vulnerable little girl...all her characters in her other novels are so unique..strong..someone you don't see every day and you want to meet. I've seen and read about the characters she wrote about this time. They lacked imagination. In addition, the plot was predictable. I pushed through the whole book expecting the crazy plot twists she is so famous for. Nothing. ...more
Jun 12, 2008 Katy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: mothers
Shelves: 2008, own, fiction
This is a book I won't forget for a long time. I have to say, I've recently had a fascination with mothers and pregnancy. I mean, what is it like having a baby? It seems like a miracle to me.

"Harvesting the Heart" (Easily the most cheesy title I can imagine) was frank and colorful. Paige is one of the strangest characters I have ever read about. One minute, she's as wise as a ninety year old woman. The next, she's child-like and naive. At some points, I wondered if the author was suggesting that
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This is moderately low by Picoult standard (and by this I mean My Sister's Keeper). I like it and I personally don't think it is a waste of my money or time. Still it is not something I will recommend to any avid readers. There are many better books out there so if you have not bought this, it is not a loss if you just ignore it.

The best part is when Paige gives birth to Max and how she tries her best to look after her son while her husband, Nicholas is busy saving lives at the hospital. "It is
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Jennifer Defoy
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
OK, I didn't totally hate this Jodi Picoult. I didn't, however, understand how she lost the plot so efficiently in the last quarter of the book.
Nicholas and Paige have a contented marriage- until Paige finds out she's pregnant. She's filled with mixed emotions, feeling a need to flee, or miscarry the child. She ties this in with the fact that her mother abandoned her and her father when she was 18. This also ties back into an abortion Paige had when with her first ex. The conflicting feelings a
Barb Terpstra
I like Jodi Picoult's books, but this one I just could not put down. I started it on Thursday night, and stayed up way past my bedtime, reluctantly putting it away as I had to get up and go to work on Friday.

Friday night did my chores as quick as I could, anticipating the time I could sit down and finish it!

Paige's mom ran away when she was 5 years old. Paige ran away when she was 18. She's been in love twice, and now she has a baby of her own. Exhausted from caring for her infant while her car
I've marked this as "read" even though I'm not quite done, because I know I'll finish it. Not because it's a really great book (it's not), but just because Jodi Picoult is a good writer. Definitely not a "great" writer, but a good writer in the sense that she has a knack for drawing you in, and telling a story. Unfortunately, this story is terribly predictable, and equally frustrating. Frustrating, I might add, on two levels. First, it's just an exasperating story. It meanders on and on (much li ...more
Heather Murphy
Nov 22, 2011 Heather Murphy rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one!
Recommended to Heather by: D.I. thrift store
I loved this book except the sex scenes and taking God's name in vain. Uugg! I wish they didn't add that but I'm sure Jodi just doesn't know about the gospel standards that could add so much joy to her life. Anyway, the book is well written and I'm so wrapped up in the lives of the characters and the journey they are on that I sooooo want to finish reading it but I know that I'm better off not reading the smut she also has intertwined. And so, after I put it down the first time, I decided I woul ...more
Harvesting the Heart is a great book about learning to accept your past in order to embrace your future.

Paige is a girl that has been abandoned by her mother when she is just five years old. Although her father does the best he can raising her, she still misses out on all the things only a mother can teach a daughter.

While growing up, Paige also comes to understand that her drawing captures more than just the image of a person, sometimes she can also capture scenes from their past and future.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though I found myself quite irritated with the main character, Paige, who definitely finds herself in a self-fulfilling prophecy--thinking she'll be a terrible mother and perhaps abandon her child because her own mother did the same thing, and then, of course, she does. I always have a hard time with people (or characters) who can't get over something and move on, eventually! It was too, too strange to have her drive out one day to get groceries and then keep ...more
Jo Lin
I really did not like this book. I'd picked it up in audiobook form because I was looking for something nice and long and recognised the name of Jodi Picoult as one of those more famous writers of, how shall we say, airport fiction. So I thought I'd give it a go.

Well, it was pretty painful to get through, mainly because I found the two main characters intensely annoying. The female protagonist is the more prominent of the two, and the novel felt like listening to the therapy sessions of a selfis
Joanna Gray
This book is somewhat hard to review. I didn't like this book, but I didn't dislike it. I enjoy the underlying deeper, thought provoking themes that I find in most of Picoult's books, that Harvesting the Heart is lacking. The book has elements of flashback, frame story, and alternating points of view. I preferred the narrative from Paige's viewpoint. There was something about this book that made me feel uneasy or uncomfortable, for whatever reason, at times. Additionally, there was an air of pre ...more
Nancy Brady
A novel in which the past has to be searched with the heart to make sense of the here-and-now. Paige doubts herself when she becomes a mother herself, and in an unthinking moment runs away from her three-month-old son Max and her husband Nicholas. Returning home to Chicago and her past life, she starts a search for her mother, who left when Paige was five years old. Will getting the answers to her past assuage the hurt and guilt? Will her return to Max and Nicholas be welcoming? Will she ever be ...more
Another fabulous book by Jodi Picoult. I'm always amazed by how beautiful her writing is and how connected you become to the characters after reliving their past with them. Not my favorite of Picoult's books because the storyline was relatively simple and I did not always agree with the character's motives, but I enjoyed the book immensely, and, really, Picoult is on a whole other level with her writing. Wasn't totally thrilled with the ending, wish it could have been tied up a little neater, I ...more
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Heather Pizzi hocking
This book irritated the heck out of me. A mother runs away from her child because she doesn't think she'll be a good mother. What the heck? Well, to start with don't run away from your kid. The main character annoyed me with how much she felt sorry for herself. Why would you miss your child's most important first year? She knew how it felt because her own mother did it to her, so she just does it to her own kid? Lame. And the husband was a self righteous prick too. Don't waste your time with thi ...more
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Paige and Nicholas's relationship? 7 64 Jan 29, 2014 04:57PM  
  • If You Believe
  • Novels by Jodi Picoult
  • The Escape Artist
  • The Castaways
  • Goodnight, Beautiful
  • Family Tree
  • Where or When
  • A Theory of Relativity
Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-two novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Between the Lines, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Her new novel, LEAVING TIME, is now available in hardcover, ebook, and audio.

Website: http:/
More about Jodi Picoult...
My Sister's Keeper Nineteen Minutes The Pact Plain Truth House Rules

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“I knew that somewhere God was laughing. He had taken the other half of my heart, the one person who knew me better than I knew myself, and He had done what nothing else could do. By bringing us together, He had set into motion the one thing that could tear us apart.” 214 likes
“Suddenly I realize that this is what I've been waiting for - a man who depends entirely on me... I dreamed for years of a man who couldn't live without me, a man who pictured my face when he closed his eyes, who loved me when I was a mess in the morning and when dinner was late and even when I overloaded the washing machine and burned out the motor. [My son] stares up at me as if I can do no wrong. I have always wanted someone who treats me the way he does; I just didn't know that I'd have to give birth to him.” 159 likes
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