Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mercy” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.57  ·  Rating details ·  40,326 Ratings  ·  2,559 Reviews
The Number One bestseller reissued with a brilliant new livery, a classic backlist title from the inimitable Jodi Picoult.
Paperback, 460 pages
Published December 2007 (first published 1996)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mercy, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Debbie Levine the snippets were written by Cam and I believe they were written to Mia.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
DNF 64%

I would’ve put Mercy down sooner, but I was at my grandmother’s for a couple days with nothing but this book, and I didn’t have anything else to read. Now that I’m home again, I don’t have to put up with this anymore. I can’t read another word of this book. I do not want to read in detail about how some asshole cheats on his wife and doesn’t even feel sorry.

Cameron MacDonald should get the award for Worst Husband Ever. He has been married to his Allie for five years, but he doesn’t apprec
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 16, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Petra Eggs
Aug 24, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
If there had been half-stars, this book would have ratedd 2.5. It was better than ok, but I didn't really like it. I had read four or five Jodi Picoult novels and found, from the first high of My Sister's Keeper it to be a slow, downhill road and this book doesn't break that path.

The first half, which took me three days to read, established the characters, none of whom I liked.

There is the adulterous husband who feels guilty about never passing up an opportunity to screw his wife's strange emp
Jul 31, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 19, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was not really a fan of this book. It could be so much better, IMO. The flashbacks to Scotland were strange and I found it dragged quite a bit. Certainly nowhere near my favourite of Picoult.
Absolutely HATED this book! I usually find a few things I like about a story and highlight them for a review but this one has nothing for me to recommend, at all. Truly. I hated the characters, the style of writing, and the storyline-that-never-was. This is supposed to be a book about assistated suicide but 99% of it seemed to be about arranging flowers and a sickening adulterous affair between a husband and his wife's co-worker/stranger-who-has-no-allegiance-to-her-friend-or-sense-of-decency-or ...more
Jul 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this book down- Jodi's writing is so deep and captivating that I found profound thoughts and insights on nearly every page. The story itself was ok, but what I liked about the book the most was how psychological it was- the insights and emotions of the characters, and how you could literally see through their eyes and understand their circumstances... thanks to Jodi. She's so poetic and uses the most amazing imagery to describe how someone is feeling, or what they are thinking.

Ashley Daviau
Jun 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I had forgotten what an emotional punch Picoult's books had. The subject of euthanasia has always intrigued me and so I was totally drawn in by this story. I also really enjoyed the other plot lines and how everything worked out in the end. I'm always a sucker for happy endings!
Jul 19, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: diehard Picoult fans
I don't know if I've started to outgrow Jodi Picoult books, or whether the most recent books I've read by her just haven't been as good as some of her best ones. I really loved a few of her slightly older books (My Sister's Keeper, Nineteen Minutes, Perfect Match), but I haven't been a big fan of her oldest books (Songs of the Humpback Whale) or her newest ones (House Rules, Lone Wolf). I really wasn't a big fan of Mercy, and here's why.

I couldn't really get into the Big Issue of this book. Jodi
Sep 21, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-adult
I believe I read this book under false pretense. I thought the plot was dealing with the issue of euthanasia.In truth, that issue took a back seat to the shenanigans of the weak,ineffectual,selfish,hormone driven sheriff. Cameron Mac Donald is not only the sheriff of Wheelock, Massachusetts, he is also the laird of the clan that makes up a good deal of the population.
Married to Allie,who literally paves the way for him through married life, has an affair with of all people, his wife's assistan
Jodi Picoult is probably one of my favorite authors, excluding Jane Austen, of course. I love the way her books grab a hold of you and don’t let you go until the very end. But probably my favorite thing is that she tackles tough moral issues in her novels.

Throughout the novel, I got the distinct suspicion that I had already read Mercy but never finished it. Maybe that was a sign of things to come.

I liked the story in Mercy and there certainly where some parts when Picoult grabbed at my heartstri
Apr 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I began reading Mercy I had every intention of ripping Picoult's characters to shreds in this review. I just couldn't wrap my head around any of them, from Allie's self-esteem issues and emotional dependance on her husband to Cam's lack of concern for the woman he claimed to love and ego. And we mustn't forget the alduterous Mia who finds no qualms in going to work for a woman who opened up her home to her and then sleeping with that same woman's husband that night. While at one point or an ...more
Having read quite a few Picoult books, I would absolutely label myself a fan of her work. But this book just didn't do it for me. There were two main story lines: one involving an affair between two characters, and one involving a man who kills his wife because she is dying of a terminal illness. The latter plot is the more compelling one, but unfortunately it is the former one that takes over the majority of the novel. There are constant allusions to the fact that the characters know each other ...more
Nov 05, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So so so disappointed with this book. The book wasn't really about mercy/euthanasia, that was merely a periphery subplot. The book was mostly about Cam, the selfish & immature police chief. I really disliked Cam's character...but I kept reading...waiting for the "mercy" plot line. The "mercy" plot did not surface until almost the end of the book. Maybe Picoult didn't have enough substance to write a whole book about euthanasia, so she wrote a random book about Cam with the euthanasia subplot ...more
O pior livro da Jodi
Já tinha o livro Compaixão da Jodi Picoult desde que saiu em maio de 2010.
Por nenhuma razão em concreto ele foi ficando na estante e a leitura era sempre adiada até que surgiu o projecto desenvolvido pela Elisa do blogue "A Miúda Geek", a Dora do canal "Books & Movies" e a Isa do "Jardim de Mil Histórias" "Um ano com a Jodi".

Mas, e apesar de gostar muito da autora, esta foi uma leitura decepcionante. Não houve uma pessoa no grupo que gostasse da história e da forma como
Apr 15, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melissa by: Ethics Professor
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Mercy is a novel that rings Jodi Picoult: a novel about love, about death, about the grey area between what is right and what is wrong. It's set in a small town and starts when Cameron MacDonald, the town's chief police encountered his cousin, a man who claimed that he killed his wife out of mercy. The story revolves around the trial to prove whether the cousin deserves to die or be imprisoned for his love of his dying wife, and also between Cam and his wife Allie's relationship. It's a deep and ...more
Jan 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: three-star
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very thought-provoking novel that includes the severe topic of right and wrong, the act of killing someone to end their suffering, and the conspiracies and difficult questions that arise in such a situation.

Also included is a sub plot where one of the characters is tempted to commit an act of infidelity. Again, the difficult questions of what is morally right or wrong come into play here. Although with this subplot I admit that I have very strong opinions that tend to lean towards th
Feb 24, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book should've been called "Selfish," or "I'm a horribly insensitive person," or, well, you get the idea. I generally enjoy the formulaic writing style of Jodi Picoult. She takes an ethical dilemma, throws in a court case and sympathetic, complicated characters, and that's the story.

In "Mercy," the ethical issue should have been euthanasia. Jamie MacDonald kills his wife, who is painfully suffering from terminal cancer, because she asks him to do so. Instead, Picoult spends most of her tim
Sooraj Subramaniam
My introduction to Picoult - I wasn't disappointed (yes, the validation of traditional mid-afternoon-cup-of-tea-after-picking-the-kids-up-from-school values work for me) but I was bored.

The beginning was slow and annoyingly drawn out. I wanted to slap all the characters, especially Allie for being such a goody-two-shoes non-adventurous little house-frau. The middle of the book wasn't any more riveting, but the Cam-Mia affair was actually hot and sweet. The most interesting part, however, was th
Jul 27, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those looking for a mindless read
I only read it a few weeks ago and can't really remember anything of the story. Didn't make much of an impression at all, but was good at distracting me from the fact that I was a passenger of an eight hour drive.
I'm on the same boat as ALOT of reviewers on this one: I adore JP's writing and the way she unfolds the story, but this particular story won't be on my Favorites list.

I was very interested in the Maggie/Jamie storyline and kept the pages turning to see what the outcome of the trial would be.

I found myself a little distracted by Uncle Angus and his deal with his flashbacks and such...

I know these women exist, but I was a little annoyed by Allie's naivety and complete devotion to Cam, and unques
Apr 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are two main interesting things that happen in this story – murder, and adultery.

I’m gonna talk about the murder trial first – JP is doing her thing here. You know, how she brings up a social issue and makes us think about it… The issue of the day in this one is – assisted suicide. If a loved one wanted to kill him/herself and asked you for help, would you do it? The general answer would be of course not. What if the loved one was at the end stages of a terminal illness and was in extreme
Ugh, this book. Ugh. I knew from the moment I picked it up I knew I was going to regret reading it. Jodi Picoult has great ideas, but her execution always leaves me wanting. She also never seems to know how to end her stories. It's like she gets bored with writing and just wants to finish the novel.

The characters droves me nuts. Cam is a jerk, Mia is a jerk and Allie needs to grow a backbone. The only character I liked at all was Ellen, and she didn't have nearly enough to do in the novel. I lik
Susan E
Apr 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-read
Another volume in my Picoult obsession... I'm starting to see the formula: ripped-from-the-headlines story; three or four characters presenting their point of view; a trial. Even knowing sort of what to expect, I still get caught up in the narratives.

I think I had the most visceral response to this book out of five or so others I have now read... I felt for the wife of the police and clan chief, who loved her husband more than he did. But also for her husband, who was so caught up in his attract
Dora Santos Marques
Que desilusão...
Sep 29, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary, i-own
I used to love how Picoult's books were capable of invoking strong emotions within me but now all I see is melodrama. Maybe it was because I was still young when I read them and my emotional range was limited. Maybe I've finally grown out of them or maybe Mercy is just the exception because I found this book to be fucking atrocious.

Mercy puts the reader in the position to contemplate whether mercy killing is justified. Jamie MacDonald killed his wife, Maggie, who was already in considerable amou
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
JPathon: Chapter 16-Chapter 19 5 9 Feb 19, 2017 07:21PM  
JPathon: Chapter 20-Chapter 23 4 13 Feb 15, 2017 08:31PM  
JPathon: Chapter 12-Chapter15 6 7 Feb 11, 2017 10:43AM  
JPathon: Chapter 8-Chapter11 8 6 Feb 11, 2017 04:14AM  
JPathon: Chapter 4-Chapter 7 5 6 Feb 09, 2017 07:32PM  
JPathon: Prologue-Chapter 3 7 10 Feb 06, 2017 06:51AM  
2017 Reading Chal...: Mercy (1996) 1 15 Jan 31, 2016 12:02PM  
  • Novels by Jodi Picoult
  • If You Believe
  • The Woman Next Door
  • The Deep Blue Sea for Beginners (Newport, Rhode Island, #2)
  • A Theory of Relativity
  • Marshmallows for Breakfast
  • Kiss River (Kiss River #2)
  • Woman in Red
  • Happiness Sold Separately
  • The Art of Saying Goodbye
  • Crazy in Love
  • Eden Close
  • Coming Back to Me
Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-three novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers 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, SMALL GREAT THINGS, is available in hardcover, ebook, and aud
More about Jodi Picoult...
“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.” 2283 likes
“How could you go about choosing something that would hold the half of your heart you had to bury?” 560 likes
More quotes…