29 Jun 2012


PLAIN TRUTH * by Jodi Picoult.

The discovery of a dead infant in a barn shakes the Amish community in Lancaster County to its core. But the police investigation leads to a more shocking disclosure: circumstantial evidence suggests that 18-year-old Katie Fisher, an unmarried Amish woman believed to be the newborn's mother, took the child's life.

When Ellie Hathaway, a disillusioned big city attorney, arrives to defend Katie, two cultures collide - and, for the first time in her high profile career, Ellie faces a system of justice very different from her own. Delving deep into the world of those who live 'plain', Ellie must find a way to reach Katie on her terms.

As she unravels the tangled case, Ellie also looks deep within - to confront her own fears and desires when a man from her past comes back into her life.
...... Outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): She had often dreamed of her little sister floating dead beneath the surface of the ice, but tonight, for the first time, she envisioned Hannah clawing to get out.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 194): "For you it's all about how you stand out. Who is the smartest, the richest, the best. for us, it's all about blending in. Like the patches that make up a quilt. One by one, we're not much to look at. but put us together, and you've got something wonderful."

MY THOUGHTS: The third book read for the JODI PICOULT PROJECT, you can see my previous reviews by clicking HERE.

A library book read, this is the first Jodi Picoult that I've read knowing that I simply had to have a copy. A far better read than Sing You Home or My Sister's Keeper, this was a real page turner that though without a doubt was emotional didn't rely so heavily on tugging at the heart strings, the characters more rounded and not so obviously 'goodies' or 'baddies' but complex individuals, most of them the result of their beliefs.

Ok, so it could be argued that it was a formulaic read, something Picoult is often criticised for, in that yes the subject matter was emotional and the story line did involve legal procedures but that's about as far as it goes.

Set in an Amish community, for me this book worked better as a commentary on the Amish way of life, the 'arguments' about their morality fascinating, as opposed to a legal drama, the court case dragging on a little too long for my liking, the legal aspects tending to lean towards the repetitive.

Gripped right from the start, I quickly became engrossed in all the characters and relished reading of not only Katie's growing relationship with distant relative and  lawyer Ellie but also of her relationship with the 'love interests' in her life which more than made up for any flaws in the other side of the story and in particular the parts of the story which dealt with Ellie's growing romance which I thought superfluous.

As for the rather 'marmite' ending (readers either loving it or hating it), yes, I agree it was rather predictable (I certainly worked out the how and why if not the who if that makes sense) but it was believable .... just .. and didn't in any way mar my enjoyment of the novel as a whole.

KEEP IT OR NOT?: As I mentioned this was a library read but I have added it to my wish list.

* The featured edition differs from the edition I actually read which was published in large print by Isis Publishing Ltd in 2007.


Vivienne said...

I have recently been sent her first YA book that she wrote with her daughter, so I am intrigued by her writing. I haven't read anything so far.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Wow, that's quite a first sentence! I can see why it might be a page-turner!

Kelly said...

I've yet to read a Jody Picoult and this one sounds quite good. I just finished a book last night that took place in Lancaster County. :)

P.N. Subramanian said...

I shall try to procure a copy as I could get some insight about the Amish Community.

Suko said...

Petty, excellent, incisive review. I have not read this one--yet. It sounds like a great book (and I've had my eye on Amish fiction since I came across the term).

Thank you very much for participating in The Jodi Picoult Project! I am fortunate to have you "on board".

naida said...

This sounds like a page turner. I have a Jodi Picoult I hope to read soon for this project too.
Great review Petty!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Hm... sounds like a gripping read. I love a book where you care so much about the characters. I've seen some Amish fic, but haven't picked it up. This one I might.

Fairday Morrow said...

I read this one and really enjoyed it. I started it in the car- but found myself totally engrossed for the rest of the ride. I figured out a lot of the ending, just like you- but the who remained a mystery. I enjoyed learning more about the Amish culture. I likes it better than Sing You Home and it was pretty equal with My Sister's Keeper. Awesome review!

GMR said...

Hmm, it reminds me of a movie though at that moment the exact title slips my mind. Anywho...I can see why this one caught your interest; certainly sounds a bit different than the writer's usual plotlines...