It's no secret that I'm a huge Jodi Picoult fan, but that doesn't mean I think all her novels are masterpieces, and I'm afraid this is one of those rare few that I didn't enjoy as much as I would have hoped to.
I didn't even intend to read this book when it was released because I've read the reviews saying the novel was full of religious symbolism - I'm an atheist myself and religion irritates me more than it fascinates me. I figured this book was not my cup of tea, but I thought the main dilemma was very interesting so I thought I'd give it a try.
I can't say I didn't enjoy the novel as such as it was typically well written. However, what bothered me that there was too much pointless talk about religion (I still don't know what the point of the Gnostic Gospels was because I entirely skipped that bit) and too many random miracles (the last sentence actually made me roll my eyes). Personally, I thought that part was completely unnecessary, but I guess the main moral dilemma wasn't enough to fill the whole book. Furthermore, I thought that the book was slow-paced and that hardly anything was going on, apart from miracles, which didn't excite me at all. I'm afraid I wasn't too keen on any of the characters, which is quite rare for me (OK, except for the yummy *British* doctor). I also found the main twist (what really happened that day) to be underdeveloped - I thought the revelation about the husband was quite shocking, but it just flew out of the window really.
On the plus side, the novel raises some interesting points about death penalty, which is a controversial subject in itself and Picoult provides some fascinating facts about it. Oh and yeah, the readers get to experience it first hand - ooh, that was kinda brutal.
I think I disliked this novel more than I enjoyed it, but I can't hate it because it was written by Picoult and we all know she's fantastic, I'd never read all the other books if they weren't written by her. But I'm afraid this just wasn't my cup of tea and I kept reading only because I wanted to find out how it will all be resolved. Sadly, I can't say I was too impressed.
It's funny how this novel is a complete opposite to my review of Handle with Care, which I posted somewhere back in December 2008. I finished the proof and couldn't stop raving about it! Here's what I wrote:
This really is an amazing and a thought provoking novel, which tackles several controversial topics (e.g. disabilities, abortion, adoption etc.) and raises many difficult questions ... As a huge Picoult fan, I had high hopes for this one and it actually exceeded my expectations. This novel is in several ways reminiscent of My Sister’s Keeper, Picoult’s most famous book, but it also has bits of her other novels mixed in, making it a typical Picoult bestseller. Highly recommended to the old Picoult fans as well as to to readers who are just getting to know this incredible author – this really is Picoult at her best!
Just to show I really am a Picoult fan, but Change of Heart just didn't work for me, same as Vanishing Acts, Salem Falls, The Tenth Circle.
On the other hand, I really truly adored My Sister's Keeper, The Pact, Mercy, Nineteen Minutes, Plain Truth, Picture Perfect!
I still want to read Perfect Match, Harvesting the Heart and Second Glance, but I don't think I'll bother with Keeping Faith, heh.