I’d never head of Jodi Picoult, and only got this book because a secondhand copy was selling at the library for too cheap to pass up, so it surprised me that two separate people told me how much they loved her as an author when they spied the book cover.
Honestly, I almost gave it up in the first 50 pages. Picoult hits you with a lot of different characters, none of whom seem to have anything to do with one another. She switches between their points of view rapidly, in staccato chapters, and I wasn’t sure I’d ever keep them straight. I kept on mostly Picoult touched on early 20th century American history, one of my favorite periods of history to read about.
This novel definitely has a theme. It centers around eugenics, and family, and abortion, and what it’s like to raise a child who has traits the parents don’t want. I don’t want to get to deeply into it because of spoilers, but the eugenics movement in America and Canada in the early 20th century plays a heavy part. A lot of people don’t know that people were often unwittingly sterilized without consent because of undesirable traits (usually being poor and/or brown or the wrong culture). I think a lot of people don’t know about this dark facet of our history, or that it was still going on into the 60s and 70s.
Even though it deals with time travel and precognitive dreams and ghosts and bizarre happenings, this isn’t in the urban fantasy genre. Maybe it should be. All the myriad characters and disparate plot lines are wrapped up in the end with a nicely happy ending and hint of future weddings. It’s a good solid novel, with some nice research into a spooky closet of our history.