Jodi Picoult and Mummy. This post comes from Cina Coren. She’s a contributing editor for DailyForex and a freelance writer for various publications. She is also a ghost author of several autobiographies.
I have just finished reading another of Jodi Picoult’s novels. It is astounding how each of her books seems to speak directly to me. How does she know just what I am going through or what challenges I am struggling with? Can she read my mind?
Several months ago, I lost my very dear 102-year old mother-in-law and when I picked up Picoult’s Lone Wolf, I was drawn by the disentanglement of the exact moral issues I had just encountered. Although I was only one of her four daughters-in-law, (my husband being one of four boys), I had a wonderfully close connection with Mummy and with my biological mother gone from my life for over forty years, I looked to the elderly woman as my true mom.
So when she lay dying in the hospital bed, the conflict presented by medical science and moral choices was prominent in my mind. Unlike Lone Wolf, there was no decision here about organ donation. Mummy had passed the stage where any of her organs could be implanted in another body. But the nagging questions of life and death remained nevertheless. Should we keep a person alive artificially when there is no hope of recovery? How long should we allow an ailing person to suffer needlessly just so she can continue to live another day? And if a mother’s life hangs in balance, how do four brothers come to a mutual agreement about her fate? Conflicting emotions make decisions difficult. No one wants to be the one to pull the plug.
Picoult writes with a sense of directness to the issues at hand. The ethical subjects she deals with, presented always in first person, are placed in the lap of each character who observes the ongoing events from a different perspective. Ever outspoken, she has written about issues most authors avoid, such as suicide, gays, sexual abuse and euthanasia. With all of her books, I find myself directly trapped in the mind of each personality, trying to grasp the varying sides of a situation and grapple with its moral outcome. Picoult’s stories speak directly to the mind, with more than one turn through the heart.
Thanks to Cina for this guest post. Check out these other great authors