I think that this is one of the weaker novels by Picoult The Scottish theme was unrealistic and seems like classic American idealism of Scotland Ireland etc I felt that the affair was meant to be somespiritual bond but again was melodrama Still a fan of her books in general but wouldn t bother with this I think I must be suffering from a kind of book zheimers as I realised almost as soon as I started this that I had read it before,some years ago However, as I didn t remember much about it and was already caught up in the story I continued reading I am pleased that I did, as I completely re evaluated a book that I had dismissed as one of Ms Picoult s weaker efforts This is a serious exploration, not just of euthanasia, but of the power of loving and where it can lead us The questions it poses are as old as time, but always relevant, making us wonder whether we are always capable of understanding our own actions and motives, whether can we draw a line between compassion and selfishness, and, indeed, the whole nature of loving between adult people A thoughtful book, with such well drawn characters that you just have to know how it all turns out. I think this is probably the first jodi picoulti I have read though many others have recommended her books to me I enjoyed the story and setting, though I found some of the random conversations a bit odd who was supposed to be speaking and what was it all about, to whom were they referring etc., but if you ignored that the story was good and a slightly different take on the usual romances My kindle reading is light stuff for the gym, travelling, waiting around etc., so I need things easy to pick up and put down and this fit the bill without being an insult to intelligence as some romantic stories can I generally avoid them like the plague preferring a mystery of crime thriller but this was OK as it was not just a boy meets girl, overcomes difficulties, lives happily ever after It had much meat than that I can understand some of the other reviews which are less enthusiastic about this novel but it really spoke to me All my life and in every relationship I ve had I ve been like Allie Cam s wife and so I sobbed my way through this novel and found it incredibly cathartic Perhaps Jamie and Maggie s story is somewhat depressing but maybe it s also hopeful that someone can love someone so much that they re prepared to do that It might not be Picoult s most polished book but there is a raw emotion and intensity about it This book describes the emotions that come from an uneven love match better than I ever could. Verdict this was not a good book It is rare that I am not positive about an author s work, but if I respect them, then it stands to follow that one should express what is disappointing in their work.The characters I agree with some reviewers that none of the characters were likeable Not only that, they were very difficult to imagine because they were so two dimensional Allie, with her fawning version of love for a statutory jock of a man, a shamelessly stereotyped hulking, red headed Scotsman who throughout we cannot stand as he only thinks, in a 2cm3 box, of himself And a handsome , large, hulking, very unpleasant and essentially American non Scotsman, none too smart we gather too, resentful of his very existence if not for himself, with ginger hair, well I don t have to be English to tell you that is some made up phantasm and is also rather offensive to actual Scotsmen all of whom funnily enough are not the same I d be embarrassed to have my Scottish friends know I read this, but also, might simply show them to irritate mental note great for a wind up.Let s not even indulge those terrible pseudo Clan asides that she attempts to pass for historical background Americans why is there this strange incestuous obsession with small town mentality Why impose imagined suburbia romanticisms upon the Scottish and call it tradition It is naive, and insulting and fundamentally, historically flawed.The description of the Cameron character then took on epic Mills and Boon proportions From her constant fetishistic description of him as the chief of police , to the tiresome reminders of his size and gun how terribly impressive Freud would love her , to his manly physical and mental bullying of those around him This is supposed to be attractive News flash, it isn t 1951 Nevertheless, the equally immeasurable character Mia, as transparently slight as her name sounds, is at least merely a carbon copy description of the character Allie, who happens to open her heart, home, work and everything to her, as she does to every other silly thing that waltzes into her life All of a sudden, Allie is very familiar with Jamie, a person we are led to believe she didn t even know existed before And to his credit, he is surely the one dimensional character about whom this book was apparently written, but lo and behold, the ridiculous sex fun affair of Cameron displaces the whole Euthanasia Thing to its rightful place of no import whatsoever Thus the attempts at the end SPOILER WARNING to humiliate him fall utterly flat as in the end, his wife merely remains his servant, and we are spoon fed this nugget of Hollywood wisdom that Love Is Forgiveness of the Man Who Cheats Never mind she does not own her own house or have anywhere to go but his own mother s, who sends her back somehow this is called strength of character in a disgusting attempt at nouveau feminism in the name of this opulent, indulgent idea of real love It is in actual fact anti feminism And it is categorically patriarchal, submissive and rings ominous notes of the author s views.Descriptions Too many foolishly repeated cliches locking of hands, blue eyes, small town American Carrymuir, pointless research bits see below , unexciting cliffhanger ends of paragraphs, Hollywoodesque sex scenes, author Cameron adorations, general inaccuracies, unlikely intimacies between perfect strangers Too little descriptions of people, believable context of time and place and community, real additions to the plot that you were not able to skip without missing anything.Plot The concept is overdramatised in the beginning to the point of being unable to imagine it, and sheer boredom Boredom is the operative word for most of this book You can surely read it in less than an hour if you lightly skim most of the trial, the terrible Laird flashback bits, the bits with Angus that are literally superfluous, and probably the interactions between Allie and Ellen, the mother in law The author attempts to keep the verdict of the trial a mystery until the very end, while at the same time letting it stay so in lieu that it no longer matters by then I would guess that it is an attempt to send the reader on a journey of discovery with the idea of the argument of euthanasia as a conduit to a context where somehow romantic love between two people is measured by how much they are sh y to each other, and how much of this sh they can respectively tolerate.One reviewer succinctly surmised the note form research topics VR Flowers Cancer Scottish traditions loosely Yet the plot is overrun by a rather unpleasant cheating man and a shallow, barely believable fool his affair is with The confusing interludes that are intended as sad love letters are misplaced as the context dictates no sympathy for this Thus the possibility of romance is as dead and ridiculous as 50 Shades Some of the cringeworthy descriptions are in their silent mind reading communications, and of course, in their godawful version of intimacy.Conclusion Mercy in Euthanasia is always an interesting issue, which could have been handled with tenacity to honour the difficult subject Instead, the book that borrows its difficulty is a superficial, directionless tome of characterless nobodies that the reader does not care about, and a silly, unlikely love affair which, with bafflement, overshadows and kills all attempts at building empathy. THE INTERNATIONALLY BESTSELLING AUTHORWe defy you not to be gripped GlamourAs police chief of a small 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 But was it murder, or mercy Its a question that will divide the town as a heated murder trial blazes on, forcing them to face the hardest questions of the heart when does love cross the line of moral obligation And what does it mean to truly love another THE BOOK OF TWO WAYS, Jodis stunning new novel about life, death and missed opportunities is available to pre order now