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Harvesting the Heart

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  45,573 ratings  ·  2,942 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 ...more
Paperback, 453 pages
Published April 1st 1995 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 1993)
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Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  45,573 ratings  ·  2,942 reviews

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Jul 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
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 react if ...more
Nov 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
"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
Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Jackie Marrs
Aug 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jodipicoult
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
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

First and foremost, I am not a mother and I believe being a parent is probably one of the most difficult but rewarding roles in life. That being said it just has never been for me. This is a story that demonstrates how difficult the role can be to some parents not just mothers, whereas it comes naturally to others. I did not warm up to Paige in this book and honestly I found Nicholas a bit more sympathetic but not by too much. I believe both main characters had aspects that readers will find
Debbie Lancaster
Dec 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 19, 2008 rated it liked it
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.
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
Nov 10, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
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
Oct 14, 2009 rated it did not like it
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,
Anita Smith
Jul 31, 2015 rated it did not like it
Sweet Jesus, this was the worst Picoult book I've ever read. Boring plot full of holes I could drive a truck through, and self-absorbed, completely unlikable characters, with the exception of Paige's father, who deserved better than the hand he was dealt. Hell, he deserved better than being in this book. I'm as big a Picoult fan as anyone, but I was sorely disappointed in this one. Looks like the library is getting an extra donation this weekend. Hopefully the next person likes it better than I ...more
Jun 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
So once in a blue moon, I read a Jodi Picoult opus. Because it's there. Because I am feeling brain dead. Whatever. And usually they are cliched but OKAY. Jodi can string her sentences together, and she writes about moms and kids and relationships and stuff we can all relate to, especially when we are feeling slightly brain dead. So I need to announce that I am seriously disappointed ...nay, DISGUSTED with the sloppy research in Jodi's 1995 Harvesting the Heart, the love story of a poor girl from ...more
May 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
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
Kelsey Hagenah
Sep 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it

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
Laura McWilliams
First off, before starting the book, I noticed it was on a list of books not to read while pregnant and thought, interesting fact. I started reading the book and a few weeks later found out I was pregnant (surprise!). At one point, the book hit a bit too close to home which made me crabby and my husband banned me from continuing. Thankfully, I didn't share the main character's past, just caught myself sympathizing with the fear of being a new mother. After about a month off, I picked it up again ...more
Jan 31, 2013 rated it did not like it
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 20, 2016 rated it did not like it
If you are a fan of Jodi Picoult, do not read this book. Put. This. Book. Down. And. Back. Away. It's terrible. Or if not actually terrible, it certainly doesn't do justice to the other books she has written, which deal with complex and current subjects like organ transplants or transsexuality. It was copywritten in 1993, so it must be one of her earliest books, before she had figured out how to write a good book.

Is it about abandonment? Art? Horses? Open heart surgery? Who knows? This book wand
K's Corner
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is my first non-five-star JP book. Started out great, then dragged on and on and didn't come back to life for me until the last two chapters.

The story is about a young girl, Paige who at a young age decides to leave home without a word to anyone and starts to drive east. She meets someone, falls in love, gets married and has a baby. Then the struggles--she struggles with her marriage, motherhood and pretty much life in general. She is haunted by her past and the secrets she has left behind.
Pratibha Suku
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Vetaran Jodi Picoult reader. People looking for easy simple lovestory.
I like this Author. I am one of those who must have read majority of her works. And so I can safely say this is not what we love Jodi Picoult for.

This is one of her books which I feel goes in diameterically opposite direction than what it was meant to be. More of a love story than about motherhood.

This being her early works proves only that she is a good storyteller. If you have read some of her recent work like Small Great Things you can easily find how much our author has evolved over time.

Jun 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For me, taking a break from reading is a happy place on its own. You know you’ll come back to it. You know you’ll love it just as much. You know you will love it always. There will be books until the end of time. It’s not the kind of happiness that makes you bounce with joy – it’s more of a quiet truth that makes you smile.
Darlene Quinn
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2nd-read
Although the protagonist, Paige, lacked a certain degree of believably, Picoult kept me turning pages. She has an incredible ability to tap into our human emotions.

Liked it even better the second time around'
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book when my son was small (so almost a decade ago). I remember being the same age as the main character, who was early 20's. I could relate a lot to her having trouble being pretty young and trying to figure out the whole motherhood thing.
Feb 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're familiar with Jodi Picoult's work, you'll know that it usually follows the format of a unique court case with family drama and a moral dilemma. This was Jodi's second novel, so it probably before she found her niche. This book is about Nicholas and Paige, a couple who married very young and are a bit of a train wreck. Paige has a past she doesn't want to talk about with Nicholas and finds herself trapped when they have their first child Max. Abandoned at a young age by her mother, Paig ...more
Apr 30, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mothers
Shelves: own, fiction, 2008
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
Heather Hocking
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
I love Jodi picoult but this was hard to get through...I thought characters seemed endearing at first but eventually I stopped liking them altogether and didn't care what happened to them...was really hard to get through the last 1/3 but I had already invested the time so I had to finish based on principle
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Horses 1 7 Oct 27, 2017 12:42PM  
A Million More Pages: Harvesting The Heart: Feb 22 14 27 Mar 07, 2015 05:06PM  
Paige and Nicholas's relationship? 7 84 Jan 29, 2014 04:57PM  

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Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-six novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Small Great Things, A Spark of Light, Leaving Time, 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, THE BOOK OF TWO WAYS, is

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