Jodi Picoult is the best selling author of more than a baker’s dozen novels that usually grapple with medical or ethical issues and are stuffed with characters who tug at your heart. She crafts her scale of justice that even a King Solomon would find difficult to balance.
Picoult has the skills and insights to speak in many voices, like the five perspectives she assumes in her first novel “Songs of the Humpback Whale,” where she captures a mother Jane, her daughter Rebecca and the trio of men who influence and direct her journey of self-discovery.
In “My Sister’s Keeper,” which has been made into a movie, Picoult tells the story of two sisters, Kate who has a rare form of leukemia and her younger sibling Anna who has been conceived for the sole purpose of saving Kate’s life. Their story is also told from the perspective of the people closest to their world and the unthinkable moral questions that are raised.
The consummate storyteller, Picoult delves into infidelity and religion in “Keeping Faith,” where a seven year old girl named Faith may be dealing with delusions or something much greater and potentially threatening or profoundly miraculous. The fate of a child is also explored in “Handle With Care” when Willow is born to Charlotte and Sean with a severe bone disorder that is crippling. Is Charlotte willing to sue her ob/gyn, who is also her best friend, to recover the money needed to pay for Willow’s medical care, especially if it means stating in court that she would have terminated her pregnancy if she had known the risks in advance?
If Jodi Picoult is your writer of choice, you have the unique opportunity to hear her speak on Monday, January 24 at 7 p.m. at Sacred Heart University at the Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts, 5151 Park Avenue, Fairfield (exit 47 off the Merritt Parkway). Tickets are $15 (open seating, with doors opening at 6:15p.m.) and may be ordered by calling 203-371-7846 or online at www.EdgertonCenter.org.
Perhaps she will talk about her newest novel “Sing You Home,” which comes with a CD of songs to accompany each chapter, in the voice of Zoe, a music therapist and the main character, that will be released in March 2011. Ms. Picoult might share her personal insights into “House Rules” about a teenage boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, and his inability to express himself in social situations. Yet Jacob Hunt does have a special skill, the ability to interpret forensic clues at crime scenes. Jacob is great in directing the police to finding the guilty party until his tutor is found dead and Jacob is the one accused of murder.
Whatever is the subject of Jodi Picoult’s talk on January 24, you can be sure it will be compelling, intelligent, spell-binding and brilliant.