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My first experience of this author was her superb book 'House Rules', which set such a high standard that I was a bit disappointed by 'Mercy'. The latter deals with the powerful topic of mercy-killing, but unlike the author's other books, I've listened to, that are also explorations of important moral issues, the force of the main story is diluted by too many distractions including supernatural phenomena, descriptions of relationships verging on Mills & Boon and unnecessary excursions into an over-romanticized version of the Scottish Jacobite rebellion. I've probably been a bit harsh in only giving the book 3 stars, but knowing what the author can do influenced my rating.
This was an early book for the author and it's interesting to see how she has developed as a writer between 1996, when Mercy was published, and, say, House Rules or Handle with Care which are much more recent and in which she has pruned the superfluous descriptions and excessive use of similes and has developed a more acerbic and satirically humorous style to her writing.
The reader is very good except when she attempts to replicate a West Highland accent for the character, Angus MacDonald, which is excruciatingly bad.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book written by Jodi Picoult or narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan?
I have listened to a lot of Jodi Picoult's books and this is easily the most disappointing. It wouldn't put me off listening to more books by her though, as I know she can and does do better.
What will your next listen be?
I'm going to try 'The Storyteller' next as it has excellent reviews.
What does Alyssa Bresnahan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
She keeps the book evenly paced (her Scottish accent is very comical as it's so bad - you wouldn't get that in the book!)
If this book were a film would you go see it?
Any additional comments?
This is not representative of Picoult's work so don't let it put you off her as an author if it's your first experience of her. The plot is confused, the two storylines don't mix well and it's hard to like or care about any of the characters. I did listen to the whole thing but was glad when it was finished. Usually I think about Picoult's books long after I've finished them, this one, I was happy to leave behind.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful