This was one of those books that’s just scary good you know? It’s almost too good. Picoult is fast becoming one of my favourite authors and even though her books are hit and miss, when she hits… Boy does she hit hard!
This book centers around Chris and Emily a young teenage couple who have grown up next door to each other and shared literally everything over the years. From childhood best buddies to young lovers their relationship has progressed as mostly everyone thought it would. Unfortunately Emily feels as if her life was mapped out for her without any input from herself. As her and Chris become intimate she finds herself becoming more and more uncomfortable with her life and where it seems to be leading. Eventually she decides suicide is the only option and begs Chris to help her end her own life.
As I am someone who has suffered from depression in recent years I have gone from a person with a complete lack of understanding into the minds of those who commit suicide into a person who has a whole lot more compassion and empathy. I used to think that suicide was the ultimate selfish act and a part of me still does but I do understand now that for a person to contemplate suicide they have to be in a very, very dark place where they see no way out. It’s so hard for a ‘normal’ person to understand this feeling. Even now when I’m feeling so much better I struggle to imagine a place where you feel so little hope or happiness that you want to end your life. But it does exist and for that person they believe that everyone, not just themselves, would be so much better off without them. It’s a heartbreaking place to be and I pity anyone in that mindset.
Chris is so completely in love with Emily that he feels at first that he will have no problem talking her out of it. After all how could someone who he loves so much do this to him? As time comes closer he feels less and less in control of the situation until eventually Emily is shot dead and there is confusion over whether Chris shot the bullet or Emily herself did. Chris ends up in jail for murder and a trial ensues where the details of why Emily was feeling the way she was and what happened that night.
Ultimately it’s a pretty heart breaking story and you feel for every single character in the book. I love the way Picoult can tell a story and make you feel as if you have lived the story along with the characters. I loved this book and actually didn’t want it to end.