Saturday, March 06, 2010

Cold Hands, Warm Heart, by Jill Wolfson

Dani has always struggled to get through life with her defective heart. When it finally gives out, she is lucky enough to receive a new one. After the surgery, she becomes curious about the donor and starts a correspondence with the donor's family.

After Amanda dies, her brother Tyler searches through her possessions to come to grips with who she was while she was alive. Receiving Dani's letters helps him come to terms with his loss.

For those curious about how organ donation works, this book provides a lot of useful information. Helpfully, it is also a breezy read with a lively pace.

What it lacks is much of a story. There certainly are lots of characters and plenty of subplots, but very little in the way of an overall narrative. For example, the story of the two teens meeting and communicating certainly happens, but there is no real development, no tension, and no conclusion to draw from it. The kids write letters. They are shy about meeting each other face to face. End of story. One can praise the book for introducing readers to an important issue, but this could have been more effectively done in non-fiction than in this thinly-developed novel.

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