How do I review a book which wars against the medical side of me, everything scientific in me keeps rebelling about the story presented in this book. Keeping the doctor in me quiet, I am now attempting to put forth my thoughts about this book.
The story is thus
Shane, an abusive boyfriend, hits Rosie and drives off with her car, has an accident.
Rosie, thinking that Shane has left her, takes time off work and recuperates, till she can join the land of living. She slowly begins to restart her life and work.
A few miles away, Andrew, a reverend and his wife Elizabeth, are praying for a new heart for their son Jacob who is in his last stages of heart failure.
He receives a new heart and slowly and steadily, as the pages turn, it seems a new personality too. Long gone is their loving and polite son, who is replaced by this stranger who swears, drinks, smokes weed, sees porn and is a total anathema to the son they have raised. How does a single heart transplant give a personality transplant. That’s explained in the cellular memory phenomena. In the entire story, Jacob lies, cheats and murders to get his way around. He breaks off with his long last girlfriend Eloise abusively, meets up with Rosie and the entire abuse cycle continues till the ending which is ludicrous and abrupt. How is Jacob’s sins justified… Apparently it’s hide it under the carpet and all is forgotten..
What goes against my realm of understanding is the way jacob’s parents behave in the entire story. They can see what their son is turning into, yet, other than think and pray about it, they seem to turn a blind eye. In fact most of the times i felt that they were enabling him, in their fear of losing their son. This part of the story just didn’t gel with me. Somehow I could not connect with any of the characters, each one is passive in their own way esp the mother. she tested my patience in a major way.
Cathy Glass, writing as Lisa Stone, is a renowned author, writing her memoirs is a social worker for abused children. Her books usually are very heart wrenching but this book is lacking a lot of things. Cell memory phenomena is an open theory, lots in favour and lots against it. In a backdrop of fiction, I am ready to leave my basic medical knowledge provided there is a story in the words written, a beginning, a middle and an end, which would justify my time given to it…
A miss or a go, either way the book ceased to matter when I stopped reading. Read it, at your own risk . Concept of cell memory phenomena was good but writing a story with that as a backdrop is a miss.
I did message an anaesthesiologist friend of mine who does heart transplant regularly and so far he hasn’t come across any such incidents but lot of reports on the net about it, verity of the theory has yet to be proved.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher Avon Books and this is my honest and unbiased opinion
My rating : 2.5 stars
About the Author
Cathy Glass is a brand name, after her bestselling books on fostering took the non-fiction world by storm. This is her first crime novel
When critically ill Jacob Wilson is given a life-saving heart transplant, his parents are relieved that their loving son has been saved.However, before long, his family are forced to accept that something has changed in Jacob. Their once loving son is slowly being replaced by a violent man whose mood swings leave them terrified – but is it their fault? Jacob’s girlfriend, Rosie, is convinced the man she loves is suffering from stress. But when his moods turn on her, she begins to doubt herself – and she can only hide the bruises for so long.
When a terrible crime is committed, Jacob’s family are forced to confront their darkest fears. Has the boy they raised become a monster? Or is someone else to blame?
Publication date : 13th July 2017
Publisher : Avon
Language : English
Available on Amazon
Amiss in writing, a miss in story
Really man how the hell heart transplant can cause change in personality.
Hahahaha… I know but there are theories on the internet that memories are stored in each and every cell of the body so they get transferred to the patient… Not seen in real life.. So no idea
sorry shalini is a common name in kerala and kerala people are known as malayalees 🙂
where you are working as a doctor?
I am a tamilian not a malayali and mumbai… What abt u
kerala.ippo vela illaye.Thediyittirukkaru 🙂
Is my tamil ok?
Oh you are searching for a job?? I hardly speak tamil. Let me try.. Vele thedinde iru, kadakyum
That means keep on searching, u will get
you were born in tamilnadu but raised in mumbai?
Nopes… I am a third generation mumbaite
Where in kerala are you from??
i didn’t get you 🙂
Which part of kerala are u from
ok your parents are from tamil nadu?
Our forefathers are from tanjore District.. We haven’t visited so thats all I know about them
Kothamangalam.it is in kochi district 🙂
Looks like books are your best friend 🙂
you started reading from childhood?
Yes reading since 40 years…u are an engineer and u like tennis??
Are you asking me if i like tennis?
I think i know u like tennis and elephants
what are you saying???
Nothing it’s fine… I thought u liked tennis game and u like elephants
yaa you are right 🙂
is doctor profession tough?
Every profession is tough.. V just have to still work..
Aap bilkul teek hai 🙂
Yes thank you
Have you ever tried writing poems?
I dont think i have tried writing anything. This blog is my first attempt at writing
I think if you try you can write good stories and poems 🙂
Maybe one day
All the short poems i write in my blog are inspired from the lyrics of movie songs i listen to 🙂
Ok great… That’s nice
i know the significance of reading books,but i am not a patient reader 🙂
To each his own… All of us cannot read and all of us cannot write… So its all ok
It was nice talking to you doctor 🙂
Same here sherin
And I am shalini to everyone
ok shalini doctor 🙂
I am just shalini… Doctor is when I am at work
yes but… i think you are a humble person 🙂
That’s nice of you to say it… But I am still shalini… That’s the name my parents have lovingly given me and that’s the name I go by
I like the honesty in your review. Suspending belief in fiction writing is doable sometimes but not every time. It seems like it may have been a better story if it was centered more around how the family and friends reacted and responded to the abrupt personality changes. Maybe the author was reaching a little too far outside of her comfort zone. 🙂
Maybe, Tami.. But I hated all the characters.. Each one took abuse and did nothing till the end and even there main characters crimes were hid. I don’t like that. Tami, I can’t suspend so much belief for justifying crime and abuse.. Mother character was the worst…
Yeah that was the feeling that I got from your review – I really need to connect with the characters too, or at least some of the characters. It seems strange that someone that had success in writing non-fiction about social work dropped the ball so badly with fiction. It seems like a missed opportunity to tell the story in an appropriate way that it should have been handled. Why jump straight to an outlandish theory like transplant personality – there are things like substance abuse, mental illness etc that are more likely to cause abrupt personality changes. A story about coping with those situations may have been more impactful.
The concept was new in the fiction world but the handling was not good.. People have 4 stars and 5 stars on goodreads but I couldn’t get with it.. Passively justifying abuse and then hiding it somehow hits hard as a woman. I wanted to rebel against injustice, do something… So I finished reviewed and gave 2.5 stars…
I love the constructive criticism/review. Well done shalini.
Oh Cynthia, thank u so much for taking the time to read.. And comment. There was something off in that book. I wish they wouldn’t portray all books as psychological thriller when they are clearly not. I look forward to ur comments. I think i have tagged you for the Versatile Blogger award… Could you see it on ur site
Nope. Where is it supposed to appear?
Pls do it only if you want to
I really do not know how to go about it. Would be glad to get enlightened on it. Thanks.
Ok even I am new to this.. It goes like this as the rules say.. There are 4
1) u copy paste the logo of the tag the photo which is there at the beginning of my post
2) then u thank me for nominating and say good things about me and my blog if u can think of any hehehe
3) copy paste the description of the award
4) tell us 7 unknown facts about urself
5) nominate 10 people then go to their posts and copy paste the URL of ur blog that u have nominated them
It’s basically copy paste a lot of things except when u talk about urself or u praise me hehehehe 😉😉
I really do not know how to go about it. Would be glad to get enlightened on it. Thanks.
Try it msg me if u are stuck I wil help u
I was not familiar with cell memory phenomena so that was an interesting fact. I’m sorry the concept didn’t seem to work here for you :/ Great review!
Even i didn’t know Sophie.. I went online to check few articles called up a friend of mine who does heart transplant but he hasn’t seen that in his patients… So I don’t mind the theory if the story is strong..
Is this book available on Kindle app?
You will get on 13th July on kindle.
Nath, couldn’t get you on Facebook your links don’t work on your blog
Actually.. I have deactivated my account so… that doesn’t work…
Oh ok ok cool
Thanks.. I will check for it
Sorry, I am not stalking you bas aise hi I was searching 😉
Don’t be sorry… Actually I use Instagram now a days .. so fb deactivated.. if you are there on insta then … I would like to connect with you..
Nath, I am not on insta, I am on fb twitter, goodreads n wp
may I know ur id(name) for fb?