Wednesday, February 24, 2016
A Note from Picoult!
So I've been at it again. Last Saturday I was in a Goodwill, all the way up in Augusta, and I was perusing the bookshelves, looking for a new book to read. I found a stash of JP books, and I picked Harvesting the Heart because it's about a woman who enters into motherhood, very unexpectedly, and what she finds out about herself as a result.
Like I've written before, one of the reasons I became such a quick convert to her books is because Picoult has the knack for writing about maternal relationship with honesty and insight, and just enough sentiment for my taste.
This book is eerie in its resemblance to my own experiences with pregnancy and motherhood. I couldn't get over it. The more I read, the more it seemed like this thrift store paperback was actually a sacred prophecy that I had no idea existed but was destined to fulfill.
I'm not going to divulge all the individual similarities between Paige, the character, and myself; there were some moments in the text that were a little painful to read because they recalled some not-so-happy memories of my own. One of the best things about reading a story is that it allows you experience the action from a distance, and whenever it gets too intense you can simply close the book and walk away. This security is a luxury rarely afforded in real life. Especially a pregnancy- it's not like you can take a break from being pregnant. This reading experience is something I am going to hold close to myself, because sometime guarding a secret is better than telling it.
After reading over 400 pages of similarities between myself a literary character that was created over 20 years ago, I was given a final nod that I was not simply over-relating:
"It's my day off from class; finally I'm getting my degree. Simmons College."
Getting accepted to Simmons College is what brought me to New England!
Because I had such an intense reading experience, I felt I had to share it with someone. Who better to share this with than Jodi Picoult herself? So last night, around 11:00, I sat in bed, typing out a long, heartfelt email to her, thanking her for this story and for the careful attention to creating the character of Paige. I shared some of the reasons I connected so closely with this narrative, and felt sated in my need to discuss this with someone.
Within minutes, there was a response from her in my inbox!
Again, I'm not going to share what she wrote because it's something I want to enjoy in my own mind, but the email was sincere and definitely provided a happy ending to the whole experience.