Change of Heart is a provoking read which is hard to put down. It gives a rich insight into many topics; including the Catholic Church, Prison, the ideas of justice and salvation and ultimately the dynamics of faith itself.  The narrators of the story are very different people, but their lives all temporarily revolve around Shay Bourne, a convicted murderer on death row. Shay seeks redemption by wanting to donate his heart to the sick child of the woman whose life he destroyed.
The narrators include June Nealon, the mother herself whose daughter and husband Shay Bourne murdered,  a ACLU lawyer who remains deeply unsatisfied with who she is, a Priest whose beliefs are shaken when his past comes back to haunt him and a convicted criminal who Shay winds up in prison with.
It is a touching tale, and feels thoroughly original and refreshing. June is forced to ask whether or not she would take the heart of the man that killed her family to save her child.
The theme of religion is explored when miracles are performed in prison cells, which raises the question of where goodness and supposed holiness are found, and what do we do when our idea of something Godly comes in the package of a man that a jury believed was better off dead?
“Change of Heart” challenges the foundation of religion and redemption, and how quick we are to jump to conclusions because they seem logical, or because we’re so uncertain of everything happening around us. It’s a gripping read, and the final pages will resound with the reader long after they’ve finished the book.
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