January 22, 2009

Review: Irreplaceable by Stephen Lovely

Racing her bicycle back home to beat a storm, Isabel Voormann accidentally veers too far into the middle of the lane and is struck by a truck driven by Jasper Klass. Isabel’s husband Alex is now faced with an enormous decision. Isabel is an organ donor but the doctors still need his consent for the procedures. Reluctantly Alex agrees and Isabel’s heart is given to Janet Corcoran, a married mother of two who teaches art in an inner-city Chicago school.

During her recovery from the transplant Janet tried contacting Alex but her advances were always rebuffed. One year later Alex is slowly trying to get his life back in order but his mother-in-law, Bernice, keeps pushing the issue of Alex meeting or at least talking to Janet.

Janet feels that talking to Alex would give her an opportunity to thank him and in the process absolve some of her own guilt over Isabel’s death which is something her husband David doesn’t understand. Over time David becomes more distant with Janet and the family and a recent rejection episode with the heart forces him further away.

Meanwhile Jasper can’t get over the fact that by ending one life he’s saved another. Eventually his warped mind leads him to follow Alex to the point of stalking him in order to learn the identity of the heart recipient and things quickly tumble out of control in his life and in his decision making.

Irreplaceable was a book filled with a lot of emotion but it didn’t call out to me. I thought it was a good read but none of the characters made their way into my heart as books of this type usually do. I just didn’t feel a connection nor was there anything in the book that left me thinking about the characters once I closed it.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I didn’t like the book because I did enjoy it and I do recommend it for anyone who loves books similar to Jodi Picoult’s. The book was well researched and I’m sure that it will touch people’s lives in a deeper way than mine if they have personal experience with being a transplant recipient or the loved one of a recipient.