Harvesting the Heart

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Harvesting the Heart
First edition
Author Jodi Picoult
Country United States
Language English
Genre Novel
Publisher Viking
Publication date
Media type Print ( Hardcover & Paperback )
ISBN 0-613-49564-0

The novel Harvesting the Heart is author Jodi Picoult's second novel, after Songs of the Humpback Whale, published in 1993 by Viking. The novel comprises three parts: Conception, Growth and Delivery.

A review by ConsumerHelpWeb describes Picoult's novels as "absorbing and entertaining", and this is no exception, it "poses questions that are relevant to [the reviewer's] own life and to [his/her] own relationships".


Paige O'Toole only has a few memories of her mother, who left her when she was five, one of the most vivid being painting winged horses on the ceiling of her childhood home. After she grows up, marries Nicholas and gets pregnant, she starts to doubt her own maternal love and ability, based on her history and lack of maternal care as a child. After their son Max slips off the couch and gets a nosebleed, she, questioning her own competence as a mother, flees and goes on a journey of self-discovery.

Paige revisits her childhood home in Chicago and tracks down her mother, now teaching children how to ride horses. She understands more about her childhood and her mother, and returns to her husband and child.

Main characters[edit]

  • Paige O'Toole, "sweet and innocent, but... plagued by unanswered questions,"[1] has an uncanny ability to sketch a subject's secrets into a portrait, such as when she was in college waitressing and drew her boss's grandmother into the folds of his skin subconsciously.
  • Nicholas Prescott, Harvard medical school graduate, successful cardiac surgeon and husband of Paige.
  • Max Prescott, son of Nicholas and Paige. He was named after his grandmother, May.
  • Astrid Prescott, Nicholas's mother & Max's grandmother. Astrid is originally against the idea of Nicholas marrying Paige but this changes after she realises how much Nicholas needs her.


  • Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult

External links[edit]