Mercy by Jodi Picoult

Mercy-Jodi-PicoultFiction — print. Washington Square Press, 2001. 416 pgs. Library copy.

The 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 its 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 question of the heart: When does love cross the line of moral obligation? And what does it mean to truly love another?”

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 heartstrings and tugged with all of her might. However, I don’t believe this is one of Picoult’s best works. The ending was abrupt, almost like she was rushing to finish the novel and that was very detrimental to how I felt after reading this novel.

But the question she posed it a tough one: Is it okay to kill a loved one out of mercy? This really hit home for me, seeing how my mom had breast cancer, which one of the characters, Maggie, did too, and the fact that my dad makes me promise that if he’s ever a “vegetable,” I’ll take care of it.


  1. Trish

    I haven’t read this one, and I haven’t felt a huge urge to pick it up. I’ll continue to pass for now. I’ve mentioned The Pact already–Keeping Faith was also really good (The Tenth Circle is my least favorite).


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