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Mercy Paperback – 20 Mar 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (20 Mar 2008)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 034096054X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340960547
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 228,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jodi Picoult received an A.B. in creative writing from Princeton University and a master's degree in education from Harvard. She is the author of seventeen novels including MY SISTER'S KEEPER(now a major film starring Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin), NINETEEN MINUTES, CHANGE OF HEART and HANDLE WITH CARE. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. Learn more at

Product Description


'Jodi Picoult is not one to shy away from fictional controversy; in fact, the more tangled and messy a moral dilemma appears, the better she likes it. (Daily Mail)

Picoult has been incredibly successful in dissecting the pain that family members go through when faced with sensitive and emotive issues ( Daily Express)

Picoult, once again, grabs a razor-sharp issue and uses her brilliantly intricate pen to expose all the shades of grey with PERFECTION. (Cosmopolitan)

Book Description

What would you do for someone you loved? Lie? Leave? Kill? Woven tight with passion and a fast-paced plot, MERCY explores highly charged emotional and ethical issues. When you love someone, where do you cross the line of moral obligation?

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. Todd on 28 Aug 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have read nearly all of Jodi Picoult's other books and they were all fantastic, although I think this may be the exception.

The story follows a man who kills his wife because she was dying of terminal cancer and asked him to kill her. He turns himself in to the police. It's a thought provoking and controversial theme and there aren't many books covering the topic. The ending to this euthanasia storyline was excellent. This storyline made me completely empathise with the man and ask myself if I would do the same. It's a well addressed topic and beautifully written.

However, the author has chosen to make this into an almost background issue and the main bulk of the book follows the story of the adulterous police chief and his devoted wife.

This storyline is well written also but it left me feeling rather flat to be honest, I didn't empathise with these characters and it made me irritated. The ending of this storyline was good but it certainly wasn't the ending I was hoping for at all. Despite saying all of this it did again make me think what would I do myself and it was well integrated into the main plot of the book.

Overall it is an incredibly thought provoking and well written read. It could have been much better if the euthanasia storyline was covered in more depth and if a lot less of the affair storyline had been written. I would suggest you should read her other books first to see how well it could have been written. I did enjoy reading the book so its worth a read anyway just in order to make yourself think what would you do?
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By DubaiReader VINE VOICE on 4 Feb 2007
Format: Hardcover
About half way through the book I felt as many of the previous reviewers did, that this was not Jodi Picoult's best work and that the impetus had waned a bit. I remember feeling this way half way through "Keeping Faith", but that turned into a gripping page turner towards the end and for me the same was true for 'Mercy'.

Jamie McDonald smothers his terminally ill wife to end her misery. He then turns himself in to the local police chief. It is no coincidence that the chief of police is also his cousin, Cam McDonald.

Running alongside this ethical dilemma is the draw that Cam feels for the newly arrived, mysterious Mia, and the repercussions this has on his marriage.

Two well written and interwoven stories.

Written 10 years ago, this is lacking a little in comparison to Ms Picoult's current work, but her style is already clearly formed and as ever the subject matter is controversial. It has been cunningly marketed as if to convince readers that this is a new novel, indeed I bought it believing this. I wonder if this would get 3 stars if it didn't come with the high expectations attached to a Jodi Picoult book. Would give 4 1/2 stars if that were possible, 9 out of 10.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By O. Doyle on 5 Dec 2006
Format: Hardcover
I became a big Jodi Picoult fan after reading My Sister's Keeper, Plain Truth, The Pact and Keeping Faith. I have however been disappointed of late with the predictability of Ms Picoults novels, especially Vanishing Acts & Salem Falls and I'm afraid Mercy will also be joining the shelf of disappointment.

If you take out all the parts of this book about the Scottish link then all you're left with is a guy who kills his wife and goes on trial for it. The question is whether he murdered his wife or if it was a mercy killing. Basically it's the same Picoult formula and if you've read any of her previous books you'll know the ending before you even start. That wasn't so much what disappointed me. What disappointed me is the way the book just ended. There was no big climax.....everybody just went along about their day. It was a real let-down I have to say.

I'm currently debating if I can be bothered reading the Tenth Circle and to be honest I think I'll give it a while for my current disappointment to dissipate first. I can't cope with one more predictable ending right now!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 2 Jan 2007
Format: Hardcover
The first book I read by JP was My Sisters Keeper which I thought was amazing. I then read Perfect Match which was also brilliant. Based on those 2 books I bought as many JP books as I could, then tried to gobble them up as quickly as possible. Unfortunately I have not read anything as good as those first two books.

I found the main character in this book to be just so dreary and wishy washy that I almost sympathised with her adulterous husband. She was such a drain to read about that I found myself almost skimming the parts she featured in. She was also a bit stupid not to realise what her hubby and only friend were up to. I need my main characters to have more backbone than this. If you're going to lay down in front of people dont be surprised if they walk over you.

There was just not enough in this book to hold my interest. Even the main thread of the book - euthanasia - wasn't written in a way which made the topic controversial and I did not find that I was battling with my own thoughts as I was with My Sisters Keeper about the rights and wrongs.

Quite a let down I'm afraid.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dinah85 VINE VOICE on 2 Jan 2010
Format: Paperback
Mercy focuses on the issue of euthanasia, and the balance of love within a relationship. The storyline follows two couples, Allie and Cam McDonald, and Jamie and Maggie McDonald. Cam McDonald is the police chief of Wheelock, Massachusetts and has been married to Allie for 7 years. Allie runs the town flower shop, and spends her day thinking of ways to make her husbands life easier. Allie is completely devoted to Cam, and there is a clear imbalance within the relationship. Even the stories that are told of their early relationship increase the sense that she gave up a lot of her own personality to be the perfect wife to Cam. This made me feel quite uneasy, and loose respect for Allie. I do not believe this was intentional on the part of the author, as Allie increasingly appears to be the central character and has a strength of will towards the end that comes from nowhere and is hard to believe. Allie however seems like a good woman, trying her best and wishing her husband was as happy with his lot in life as she is. Characterisation generally is weak, Cam seems a poor role model for the citizens, constantly wishing to be elsewhere and escape his own life, which seems pretty good in reality.

The character of Mia enters the town the same day as Jamie and Maggie. However the reason for her appearance in town is never explored, and neither is her apparent connection to Cam. This turns their relationship into a torrid affair which I had no interest in reading about, there is nothing exciting or new about extra-marital sex. By the time Allie discovered the affair I had no interest in whether she stayed or left. Despite, or possibly due to, the spoiler at the start of the book, I strongly suspected she would stay.
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