Now, a heated murder trial plunges the town into upheaval, and drives a wedge into a contented marriage: Cameron, aiding the prosecution in their case against Jamie, is suddenly at odds with his devoted wife, Allie -- seduced by the idea of a man so in love with his wife that he'd grant all her wishes, even her wish to end her life. And when an inexplicable attraction leads to a shocking betrayal, Allie faces the hardest questions of the heart: when does love cross the line of moral obligation? And what does it mean to truly love another?
Praised for her "personal, detail-rich style" (Glamour), Jodi Picoult infuses this page-turning novel with heart, warmth, and startling candor, taking readers on an unforgettable emotional journey.
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Read an Excerpt
In the moments before, she laid a hand on his arm. "No matter what," she said, giving him a look, "you cannot stop."
He turned away. "I'm not sure I can even start."
She brought his hand to her lips, kissed each finger. "If you don't do it," she said simply, "who will?"
For a long while they sat side by side, staring out a streaked window at a town neither of them knew very well. He watched her breathing pattern in the reflection of the glass, and tried to slow his own heart until they were equally matched. The quiet dulled his senses, so that he became fixated on the clock beside the bed. He would not... see more
Reading Group Guide
Questions and Topics for Discussion
1. To what degree is the title a metaphor for this novel?
2. Are Jamie's actions justified? What about Cam's? Allie's?
3. Who is the author of the "notes" between the chapters? Whom are these snippets addressing? Did you believe this throughout the book?
4. Jamie says, "You know it's never fifty-fifty in a marriage. It's always seventy-thirty, or sixty-forty. Someone falls in love first. Someone puts someone else up on a pedestal. Someone works very hard to keep things rolling smoothly; someone else sails along for the ride." Do you agree?
5. In what ways does Mia's memory of her parents' love influence her relationship with Cam?
6. Who is the most selfish character? The most selfless?
7. In what ways are Cam and Jamie similar?
8. How is Cameron MacDonald like his namesake ancestor? How is he different? To what extent does the Scottish history of this clan affect his decisions?
9. What is the significance of the moments in Mercy that are magical or somewhat unreal?
10. There is a catch-22 in Mia and Cam's relationship: They have each fallen in love with a person who would no longer exist if they were to run off together. Do you agree or disagree with this statement, and why?
11. Is there a hero in this book?
12. What attracts Allie to Jamie? To Cam? What attracts Mia to Cam, and Cam to Mia? Do you believe that we try to find in the see more