To this day I have not one single clue why because, personally, I feel she is a brilliant author.
I have read Change of Heart on multiple occasions and it has to be one of my favourite novels that she has written, not only for the fantastic and interesting story, but due to the complex issues faced in the book. I love a moral dilemma just as much as a mystery. The stigma surrounding the death penalty is one that is discussed all over the world and this story brings the key issues to the fore front, as well as painting an interesting light on how it must feel to be on death row, without actually voicing the thoughts of someone on death row; and there lies my main issue with the book.
Those familiar with Picoult's writing style will be aware of how she splits the story into different chapters 'written' by different characters, and despite this book revolving around 'Shay', a criminal on death row, his voice is never heard. I understand that this is possibly explained by the story (Shay has difficulties with communication as well as not classically listened too by officials) I thought it was a shame that he didn't have a chapter so we could hear his real story. However, I'm convinced this was an author choice and does add to the interest of the story.
What strikes me as the most interesting part of the story are the themes of religion, and what place religion holds in the modern world. The ideas put forward, as well as new concepts and thoughts I had not considered before, are gripping and its in these sections that the author's real talent shines; her utter dedication to detail. Jodi Picoult really does her research when writing a new book and in Change Of Heart the unusual and widely unheard Gospel's, ideas and concept are truly interesting. In addition to this, the voice of 'Michael' ( a catholic priest) is really enlightening, especially through his internal conflict surrounding the definition of religion and how religion is interpreted by the world. In this sense, as well as the death penalty, the book is incredibly thought provoking and a fantastic read.