Plain Truthby Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult has touched readers deeply with her acclaimed novels, such as Keeping Faith and The Pact. Gifted with "a remarkable ability to make us share her characters' feelings" (People), Picoult now explores the complex choices of the heart for a young Amish woman -- the compelling journey of discovery for an urban lawyer who befriends and protects her.
The small town of Paradise, Pennsylvania, is a jewel in Lancaster County -- known for its picture-postcard landscapes and bucolic lifestyle. But that peace is shattered by the discovery of a dead infant in the barn of an Amish farmer. A police investigation quickly leads to two startling disclosures: the newborn's mother is an unmarried Amish woman, eighteen-year-old Katie Fisher. And the infant did not die of natural causes. Although Katie denies the medical proof that she gave birth to the child, circumstantial evidence leads to her arrest for the murder of her baby.
One hundred miles away, Philadelphia defense attorney Ellie Hathaway has achieved an enviable, high-profile career. But her latest court "victory" has set the sands shifting beneath her. Single at thirty-nine and unsatisfied with her relationship, Ellie doesn't look back when she turns down her chance to make partner and takes off for an open-ended stay at her great-aunt's home in Paradise.
Fate brings her to Katie Fisher. Suddenly, Ellie sees the chance to defend a client who truly needs her, not just one who can afford her. But taking on this case challenges Ellie in more ways than one. She finds herself not only in a clash of wills with a client who does not want to be defended but also in a clash of cultures with a people whose channels of justice are markedly different from her own.
Immersing herself in Katie Fisher's life -- and in a world founded on faith, humility, duty, and honesty -- Ellie begins to understand the pressures and sacrifices of those who to live "plain." As she peels away the layers of fact and fantasy, Ellie calls on an old friend for guidance. Now, just as this man from Ellie's past reenters her life, she must uncover the truth about a complex case, a tragic loss, the bonds of love -- and her own deepest fears and desires.
Moving seamlessly from psychological drama to courtroom suspense, Plain Truth is a triumph of contemporary storytelling. Jodi Picoult presents a fascinating portrait of Amish life rarely witnessed by those outside the faith -- and discovers a place where circumstances are not always what they seem, where love meets falsehood, and where relationships grow strong enough to span two worlds.
Nann Blaine Hilyard
"Absorbing and affecting."
"Picoult is a master of the craft of storytelling."
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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. She could see Hannah's eyes, wide and milky; could feel Hannah's nails scraping. Then, with a start, she woke. It was not winter -- it was July. There was no ice beneath her palms, just the tangled sheets of her bed. But once again, there was someone on the other side, fighting to be free.
As the fist in her belly pulled tighter, she bit her bottom lip. Ignoring the pain that rippled and receded, she tiptoed barefoot into the night.
The barn cat yowled when she stepped inside. She was panting by now, her legs shaking like willow twigs. Lowering herself to the hay in the far corner of the calving pen, she drew up her knees. The swollen cows rolled their blue moon eyes in her direction, then turned away quickly, as if they knew better than to bear witness.
She concentrated on the hides of the Holsteins until their black spots shimmied and swam. She sank her teeth into the rolled hem of her nightgown. There was a funnel of pressure, as if she were being turned inside out; and she remembered how she and Hannah used to squeeze through the hole in the barbed wire fence by the creek's edge, pushing and angled, all knees and grunts and elbows, until by some miracle they'd tumble through.
It was over as suddenly as it had begun. And lying on the matted, stained hay between her legs was a baby.
Aaron Fisher rolled over beneath the bright quilt to stare at the clock beside the bed. There had been nothing, no sound to wake him, but after forty-five years of farming and milking, the smallest things could pull him out of sleep: a footfall in the corn, a change in the pattern of the wind, the rasp of a mother's tongue roughing a newborn calf.
He felt the mattress give as Sarah came up on an elbow behind him, the long braid of her hair curling over her shoulder like a seaman's rope. "Was ist letz?" What's the matter?
It was not the animals; there was a full month before the first cow was due to deliver. It was not a robber; there was too little noise. He felt his wife's arm slip around him, hugging his back to her front. "Nix," he murmured. Nothing. But he did not know if he was trying to convince Sarah, or himself.
She knew enough to cut the cord that spiraled purple to the baby's belly. Hands shaking, she managed to reach the old scissors that hung on a peg near the pen's door. They were rusty and coated with bits of hay. The cord severed in two thick snips, and then began spurting blood. Horrified, she pressed her fingers to the ends, pinching it shut, wildly looking around for something to tie it off.
She rummaged in the hay and came up with a small length of baling twine, which she quickly tied around the cord. The bleeding slowed, then stopped. Relieved, she sank back on her elbows -- and then the newborn started to cry.
She snatched the baby up and rocked it tightly. With her foot, she kicked at the hay, trying to cover the blood with a clean layer. The baby's mouth opened and closed on the cotton of her nightgown, rooting.
She knew what the baby wanted, needed, but she couldn't do it. It would make this real.
So she gave the baby her pinkie finger instead. She let the small, powerful jaws suckle, while she did what she had been taught to do in times of extreme stress; what she had been doing for months now. "Lord," she prayed, "please make this go away."
The rustle of chains awakened her. It was still dark out, but the dairy cows' internal schedule had them rising at their individual stalls, their bags hanging blue-veined and round with milk, like full moons caught between their legs. She was sore and tired, but knew she had to get out of the barn before the men arrived to do the milking. Glancing down, she realized that a miracle had come to pass: the blood-soaked hay was fresh now, except for a small stain beneath her own bottom. And the two things she'd been holding when she fell asleep -- the scissors and the newborn -- were gone.
She pulled herself to her feet and glanced toward the roof, awed and reverent. "Denke," she whispered, and then she ran out of the barn into the shadows.
Like all other sixteen-year-old Amish boys, Levi Esch no longer attended school. He'd gone through the eighth grade and was now in that limbo between being a child and being old enough to be baptized into the Amish faith. In the interim, he was a hired hand for Aaron Fisher, who no longer had a son to help him work his dairy farm. Levi had gotten the job through the recommendation of his older cousin Samuel, who'd been apprenticing with the Fishers now for five years. And since everyone knew that Samuel was probably going to marry the Fishers' daughter soon and set up his own farm, it meant Levi would be getting a promotion.
His workday started at 4:00 a.m., as on all other dairy farms. It was still pitch-dark, and Levi could not see Samuel's buggy approach, but he could hear the faint jingle of tack and traces. He grabbed his flat-brimmed straw hat and ran out the door, then jumped onto the seat beside Samuel.
"Hi," he said breathlessly.
Samuel nodded at him but didn't turn, didn't speak.
"What's the matter?" Levi teased. "Katie wouldn't kiss you good-bye last night?"
Samuel scowled and cuffed Levi, sending his hat spinning into the back of the buggy. "Why don't you just shut up?" The wind whispered at the ragged edge of the cornfield as they drove on in silence. After a while, Samuel pulled the buggy into the Fishers' front yard. Levi scuffed the toe of his boot into the soft earth and waited for Samuel to put the horse out to pasture before they headed into the barn.
The lights used for milking were powered by a generator, as were the vacuum pumps hooked up to the teats of the cows. Aaron Fisher knelt beside one of the herd, spraying the udders with iodine solution and then wiping them dry with a page ripped from an old phone book. "Samuel, Levi," he greeted.
He did not tell them what to do, because by now they already knew. Samuel maneuvered the wheelbarrow beneath a silo and began to mix the feed. Levi shoveled out the manure behind each cow, periodically looking at Samuel and wishing he was already the senior farmhand.
The barn door opened, and Aaron's father ambled in. Elam Fisher lived in the grossdawdi haus, a small apartment attached to the main building. Although Elam helped out with the milking, Levi knew the unwritten rules: make sure the old man carried nothing heavy; keep him from taxing himself; and make him believe that Aaron couldn't do without him, although Aaron could have, any day of the week. "Boys," Elam boomed, then stopped in his tracks, his nose wrinkled above his long, white beard. "Why, we've had a calf."
Puzzled, Aaron stood. "No. I checked the pen."
Elam shook his head. "There's the smell of it, all the same."
"More like it's Levi, needing a bath," Samuel joked, emptying a fresh scoop of feed in front of the first cow.
As Samuel passed him with the wheelbarrow, Levi came up swinging and slipped on a slick of manure. He landed on his bottom in the ditch built to catch the refuse and set his jaw at Samuel's burst of laughter.
"Come on now," Aaron chided, although a grin tugged at his mouth. "Samuel, leave him be. Levi, I think Sarah left your spare clothes in the tack room."
Levi scrambled to his feet, his cheeks burning. He walked past Aaron, past the chalkboard with the annotated statistics on the cows due to calve, and turned into the small cubby that housed the blankets and bridles used for the farm's workhorses and mules. Like the rest of the barn, it was neat as a pin. Braided leather reins crossed the wall like spiderwebs, and shelves were stacked with spare horseshoes and jars of liniment.
Levi glanced about but could see no clothing. Then he noticed something bright in the pile of horse blankets. Well, that would make sense. If Sarah Fisher had washed his things, they had probably been done with the other laundry. He lifted the heavy, striped blanket and recognized his spare trousers and jewel green shirt, rolled into a ball. Levi stepped forward, intending to shake it out, and found himself staring down into the tiny, still face of a newborn.
"Aaron!" Levi skidded to a stop, panting. "Aaron, you've got to come." He ran toward the tack room. Aaron exchanged a glance with his father, and they both started after the boy, with Samuel trailing.
Levi stood in front of a stool piled high with horse blankets, on top of which rested a sleeping baby wrapped in a boy's shirt. "I...I don't think it's breathing."
Aaron stepped closer. It had been a long time since he'd been around a baby this small. The soft skin of its face was cold. He knelt and tipped his head, hoping that its breath would fall into the cup of his ear. He flattened his hand against its chest.
Then he turned to Levi. "Run to the Schuylers and ask to borrow their phone," he said. "Call the police."
"Get out," Lizzie Munro said to the officer in charge. "I'm not going to check an unresponsive infant. Send an ambulance."
"They're already there. They want a detective."
Lizzie rolled her eyes. Every year that she'd been a detective-sergeant with the East Paradise Township police, the paramedics seemed to get younger. And more stupid. "It's a medical call, Frank."
"Well, something's out of kilter down there." The lieutenant handed her a slip of paper with an address on it.
"Fisher?" Lizzie read, frowning at the surname and the street. "They're Amish?"
Lizzie sighed and grabbed her big black purse and her badge. "You know this is a waste of time." In the past, Lizzie had occasionally dealt with Old Order Amish teenagers, who'd gather together in some guy's barn to drink and dance and generally disturb the peace. Once or twice she'd been called to take a statement from an Amish businessman who'd been burglarized. But for the most part, the Amish had little contact with the police. Their community existed unobtrusively within the regular world, like a small air bubble impervious to the fluid around it.
"Just take their statements, and I'll make it up to you." Frank held the door open for her as she left her office. "I'll find a nice, fat felony for you to sink your teeth into."
"Don't do me any favors," Lizzie said, but she was grinning as she got into her car and headed to the Fisher farm.
The Fishers' front yard was crowded with a squad car, an ambulance, and a buggy. Lizzie walked up to the house and knocked on the front door.
No one answered, but a voice behind Lizzie called out a greeting, the cadences of the woman's dialect softening her consonants. A middle-aged Amish woman wearing a lavender dress and a black apron hurried toward Lizzie. "I am Sarah Fisher. Can I help you?"
"I'm Detective-Sergeant Lizzie Munro."
Sarah nodded solemnly and led Lizzie into the barn's tack room, where two paramedics knelt over a baby. Lizzie hunkered down beside one EMT. "What have you got?"
"Newborn, emphasis on the new. No pulse or respirations when we got here, and we haven't been able to revive him. One of the farmworkers found him wrapped up in that green shirt, underneath a horse blanket. Can't tell if it was stillborn or not, but someone was trying to hide the body all the same. I think one of your guys is around by the milking stalls, he might be able to tell you more."
"Wait a second -- someone gave birth to this baby, and then tried to conceal it?"
"Yeah. About three hours ago," the paramedic murmured.
Suddenly the simple medical response call was more complicated than Lizzie had expected, and the most likely suspect was standing four feet away. Lizzie glanced up at Sarah Fisher, who wrapped her arms around herself and shivered. "The baby...it's dead?"
"I'm afraid so, Mrs. Fisher."
Lizzie opened her mouth to ask another question, but was distracted by the distant sound of equipment being moved about. "What's that?"
"The men, finishing up the milking."
Lizzie's brows shot up. "The milking?"
"These things..." the woman said quietly. "They still have to be done."
Suddenly, Lizzie felt profoundly sorry for her. Life never stopped for death; she should know that better than most. She gentled her voice and put her hand on Mrs. Fisher's shoulder, not quite certain what sort of psychological state the woman was in. "I know this must be very difficult for you, but I'm going to have to ask you some questions about your baby."
Sarah Fisher raised her eyes to meet Lizzie's. "It's not my baby," she said. "I have no idea where it came from."
A half hour later, Lizzie leaned down beside the crime scene photographer. "Stick to the barn. The Amish don't like having their pictures taken." The man nodded, shooting a roll around the tack room, with several close-ups of the infant's corpse.
At least now she understood why she'd been called down. An unidentified dead infant, an unknown mother who'd abandoned it. And all this smack in the middle of an Amish farm.
She had interviewed the neighbors, a Lutheran couple who swore that they'd never heard so much as raised voices from the Fishers, and who couldn't imagine where the baby might have come from. They had two teenage daughters, one of whom sported a nose and navel ring, who had alibis for the previous night. But they had agreed to undergo gynecological exams to rule themselves out as suspects.
Sarah Fisher, on the other hand, had not.
Lizzie considered this as she stood in the milk room, watching Aaron Fisher empty a small hand tank of milk into a larger one. He was tall and dark, his arms thick with ropes of muscle developed by farming. His beard brushed the second button of his shirt. As he finished, he set down the tank and turned to give Lizzie his full attention.
"My wife was not pregnant, Detective," Aaron said.
"Sarah can't have more children. The doctors made it that way, after she almost died birthing our youngest."
"Your other children, Mr. Fisher -- where were they when the baby was found?"
A shadow passed over the man's face, disappearing as quickly as Lizzie had marked it. "My daughter was asleep, upstairs. My other child...is gone."
"Gone, like down the road to her own home?"
"This daughter who was asleep is how old?"
At that, Lizzie glanced up. Neither Sarah Fisher nor the paramedics had mentioned that there was another woman of childbearing age who lived on the farm. "Is it possible that she was pregnant, Mr. Fisher?"
The man's face turned so red that Lizzie grew worried. "She isn't even married."
"It's not a prerequisite, sir."
Aaron Fisher stared at the detective coldly, clearly. "It is for us."
It seemed to take forever to get through milking all forty cows, and it had nothing to do with the arrival of a second battalion of police officers. Samuel closed the pasture gate after letting out the heifers and walked toward the main house. He should go help Levi sweep out the barn one last time for the morning, but this once it would wait.
He didn't bother to knock. Just opened the door, as if the home was already his and the young woman inside at the stove also belonged to him. He stopped for a moment, watching the sun grace her profile and gild her honey hair, her movements quick and efficient as she fixed breakfast.
"Katie," Samuel said, stepping inside.
She turned quickly, the spoon flying up in the batter bowl as she started. "Oh, Samuel. I wasn't expecting you yet." She peered around his shoulder, as if she might see an army behind him. "Mam said I ought to make enough for everyone."
Samuel walked forward and took the bowl, setting it on the counter. He reached for her hands. "You don't look so good."
She grimaced. "Thanks for the compliment."
He drew her closer. "Are you okay?"
Her eyes, when they met his, were the jewel blue of an ocean he had once seen on the cover of a travel magazine, and -- he imagined -- just as endlessly deep. They were what had first attracted him to Katie, across a crowded church service. They were what made him believe that, even years from now, he would do anything for this one woman.
She ducked away from him and began to flip the pancakes. "You know me," she said breathlessly. "I get nervous around these Englischers."
"Not so many. Only a handful of policemen." Samuel frowned at her back in concern. "They may want to talk to you, though. They seem to want to talk to everyone."
She set the spatula down and turned slowly. "What did they find out there?"
"Your mother didn't tell you?"
Katie slowly shook her head, and Samuel hesitated, torn between her trust in him to tell her the truth and the desire to keep her blissfully unaware for as long as possible. He ran his hands through his straw-colored hair, making it stand on end. "Well, they found a baby. Dead."
He saw her eyes widen, those incredible eyes, and then she sank down onto one of the kitchen chairs. "Oh," she whispered, stunned.
In a moment he was at her side, holding her close and whispering that he would take her away from here, and to heck with the police. He felt her soften against him, and for a moment Samuel was triumphant -- after so many days of being rebuffed, to finally come back to this. But Katie stiffened and drew away. "I don't think this is the time," she chided. She stood and turned off the stove's gas burners, then folded her arms across her middle. "Samuel, I think I would like you to take me somewhere."
"Anywhere," he promised.
"I want you to take me to see this baby."
"It's blood," the medical examiner confirmed, kneeling in the calving pen in front of a small, dark stain. "And placenta. Not a cow's, from the size of it. Someone had a baby recently."
He hesitated. "I can't say without doing the autopsy -- but my hunch says no."
"So it just...died?"
"I didn't say that, either."
Lizzie sat back on her heels. "You're telling me someone intentionally killed this baby?"
The man shrugged. "I guess that's up to you to find out."
Lizzie calculated quickly in her mind. Given such a small window between the baby's birth and death, chances were that the perpetrator of the crime was the infant's mother. "What are we talking? Strangulation?"
"Smothering, more likely. I should have a preliminary autopsy report by tomorrow."
Lizzie thanked him and wandered away from the scene the patrolmen were now securing. All of a sudden this was no longer an abandonment case, but a potential homicide. There was enough probable cause to get a warrant from a district judge for blood samples, evidence that might point a finger at the woman who had done this.
She stopped walking as the barn door opened. A tall blond man -- one of the farm help -- stepped into the dim light with a young woman. He nodded at Lizzie. "This is Katie Fisher."
She was lovely, in that sturdy Germanic style that always made Lizzie think of fresh cream and springtime. She wore the traditional garb of the Old Order Amish: a long-sleeved dress, covered by a black apron that fell just below her knees. Her feet were bare and callused -- it had always amazed Lizzie to see these Amish youth running down gravel roads without their shoes, but that was how they spent the summer. The girl was also so nervous that Lizzie could nearly smell her fear. "I'm glad you're here, Katie," Lizzie said gently. "I've been looking for you, so that I can ask you some questions."
At that, Katie moved closer to the blond giant beside her. "Katie was asleep last night," he said. "She didn't even know what happened until I told her."
Lizzie tried to gauge the girl's response, but something had distracted her. She was staring over Lizzie's shoulder into the tack room, where the medical examiner was supervising the removal of the baby's body.
Suddenly the girl wrenched away from Samuel and ran out the barn door, with Lizzie chasing her to the farmhouse porch.
As reactions to death went, this was a violent one. Lizzie watched the girl trying to compose herself, and wondered what had prompted it. Had this been any ordinary teen, Lizzie would have taken such behavior as an indication of guilt -- but Katie Fisher was Amish, which required her to filter her thoughts. If you were Amish, you could grow up in Lancaster County without television news broadcasts and R-rated movies, without rape and wife-beating and murder. You could see a dead baby and be honestly, horribly shocked by the sight.
Then again, there had been cases in recent years; teenage mothers who'd hidden their pregnancies and after the birth had tied up the loose ends by getting rid of the newborn. Teenage mothers who were completely unaware of what they'd done. Teenage mothers who came in all shapes, all sizes, all religions.
Katie leaned against a pillar and sobbed into her hands. "I'm sorry," the girl said. "Seeing it -- the body -- it made me think of my sister."
"The one who died?"
Katie nodded. "She drowned when she was seven."
Lizzie looked toward the fields, a green sea that rippled with the breeze. In the distance, a horse whinnied, and another answered. "Do you know what happens when you have a baby?" Lizzie asked quietly.
Katie narrowed her eyes. "I live on a farm."
"I know. But animals are different from women. And if women do give birth, and don't get medical attention afterward, they may be putting themselves in great danger." Lizzie hesitated. "Katie, do you have anything you want to tell me?"
"I didn't have a baby," Katie answered, looking directly at the detective. "I didn't." But Lizzie was staring at the porch floor. There was a small maroon smudge on the painted white planks. And a slow trickle of blood, running down Katie's bare leg.
Copyright © 2000 by Jodi Picoult
Meet the Author
Jodi Picoult received an AB in creative writing from Princeton and a master’s degree in education from Harvard. The recipient of the 2003 New England Book Award for her entire body of work, she is the author of twenty-one novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers House Rules, Handle With Care, Change of Heart, and My Sister’s Keeper, for which she received the American Library Association’s Margaret Alexander Edwards Award. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. Visit her website at JodiPicoult.com.
- Hanover, New Hampshire
- Date of Birth:
- May 19, 1966
- Place of Birth:
- Nesconset, Long Island, NY
- A.B. in Creative Writing, Princeton University; M.A. in Education, Harvard University
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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She turned her back on love two decades ago because she needed to prove to herself that she could do it alone by climbing to the top of a prestigious law firm. Philadelphia attorney Ellie Hathaway obtains an acquittal for her client, which earns her a job offer from one of the legal elite firms. However, instead of elation, Ellie feels guilty for gaining freedom for a pediophile who molested at least six children. Ellie walks out on her lover of eight years, seeking sanctuary with her aunt in the heart of Amish Country East Paradise, Lancaster County. Shortly after her arrival, Ellie is asked to take on the case of eighteen-year-old Amish woman Katie Fisher, accused of killing her newborn child. Katie hid her pregnancy before she went to the family barn to give birth by herself. She wrapped her baby in a shirt and fell asleep. When the teen awakened, the infant was gone. Later the dead child was found and Katie accused of smothering the baby. Ellie agrees to take on an ¿Old Order¿ client that the lawyer thinks is guilty in an English court. Judy Picoult is a gifted storyteller whose compelling works profoundly impact her audience. Anyone who wants a glimpse at the Amish culture will want to read PLAIN TRUTH. The complex charcaters appear more like multi-dimensional people who capture a niche in the reader¿s heart. If justice is served, Ms. Pisault will become a best-selling author for this warm insightful novel. Harriet Klausner
I am a Picoult fan but when I first purchased this book, I was skeptical. The Amish...really? In a Picoult book? It was AWESOME and I found myself not being able to put the book down. I love books like that!
This is one of my favorite books by Jodi Picoult and I think that it's a great book for young women. I highly recommend this book for book clubs as its very open for opioins an so forth. Again-it's a must read and am sure everyone will enjoy it!!
The first book I ever read of Picoult's was My Sister's Keeper and it was a must read. I couldn't put it down. I haven't felt that same way about any of her other books, I found them hard to get in to. I just read the Plain Truth and, finally, I feel like I'm reading a book just as compelling as My Sister's Keeper. I never thought a book set in Lancaster county could be so interesting. Clearly, Picoult is a master at her craft, and I'm glad to have found a second book in her collection to feel so strongly about.
The Amish aren't known for violence, yet in "The Plain Truth", a peaceful Amish girl is charged with murdering her baby. I will admit that I did anticipate the twist in the end that the book was leading up to, but Jodi's style kept me engrossed in the story. She always has strong characters with depth and makes me, the reader, actually care about what happens to them. (If I remember correctly, I bawled while reading "My Sister's Keeper"...) I always learn from Jodi, too. I had no idea about 1/2 of what she wrote about the Amish. People have these preconceived notions that aren't true at all. For example, did you know that during their teen years, their parents allow them to get a taste of the Englisch world? They run around in gangs and their parents are more lenient, though fervently hope that the teen decides to be baptized in the Amish faith when the time comes. She also had a character who was a ghost-hunter, who made a good point about ghosts; physics states that energy cannot be destroyed, so when someone dies, where does their energy go? Jodi makes me think. Which is why I love her. She has never disappointed me, and I love how she seems to pick her topics straight out of the headlines of the news. (Read "19 Minutes"...talk about a different perspective...) Keep writin' 'em, Jodi, and I'll keep readin' 'em!
Buy the book...reading it on the Nook is difficult. There are so many typos in the Nook version, it distracts from the book.
What a book! I couldn't put it down. Ms. Picoult's style of writing flows so easily. The characters are so descript, by the end of the book you'll think you where friends. Ms. Ellie Hathaway is lovable and hatable as you watch her personality in action. Her brilliance shines through as an attorney and the twists and turns will keep you on the edge of your seat. This is one book where you'll figure out the ending at the true end. A delight to read. I can't wait to read the rest of Ms. Picoult's books.
My wife, whose mind I adore, first turned me on to Picoult a few years ago. Ever since, I have read numerous books by said author. But Plain Truth wasn't my favorite. Although, Picoult has a flair for character development by bringing the reader inside the psyche of most of Plain Truth's characters, she falls short on her presentation of conflict resolution and character consistency. Her characters are flawed and we love them for that they are believeable. In reading Picoult's presentation of character relations (e.g. Katie and Adam Ellie and Coop) we can't help but notice our own relationships therfore, the catharsis is the thing wherein she catches the conscience of the . . . reader. The plot clips along carefully giving the reader enough questions to require luminous midnight page-turning sessions. I simply couldn't put the novel down at times, and I love when that happens. However, the denoucement, although a classic Picoult twist, is anything but satisfactory. The reader discovers small character inconsistencies in hindsight, and this becomes discrediting. The story's characters still reverberate in my mind, however. And as Martha Stewart would say, 'That's a good thing.' Salem Falls, Second Glance, and Keeping Faith still remain my favorite Picoult works. I am, however, still plowing the casm of the Picoult canon.
Jodi has done it again! This drew me in right away, and I literally had a hard time putting this down, even to eat and sleep. Done in a day! And that doesn't mean it's a "Costco sampler" book. This book is a full- meal deal, from compelling characters, to moral dilemmas. If Picoult ever reads these reviews, (well, a girl can dream, can't she?), sequels would be great. I'd love to find out what happens to Katie and Ellie as they continue on. I've read so many books this year already, but this is one, so far, that really "ranks". A book to keep!
An interesting premise--dead newborn baby, Amish dairy farm and an eighteen year old girl who can't remember what happened. Learned a few things about the Amish, like they don't shun using things us Englishers take for granted, lighting, bathrooms, things like that. I don't think this is my favorite Jodi Picoult book, so far My Sister's Keeper still holds that spot,although I will add to my library of keepers. This book lack Picoult's usual shocking twist, was not quite as surprised at this ending. Characters are well developed, some the readers will love individuals in the story more than others. A good read all in all.
I loved this book! It sounds like a weird topic, but it is so interesing. You never know whats coming next, and it is hard to put down!
I have read a few books by Jodi Picoult. She is a good writer and this is a good read. Sometimes some of the references she makes are unnecessary in the story and even boring; for instance in this story there are references to ghost hunters(the story totally didn't need this. There's not an obscene amount, but enough to make you wonder if it is going to become an important part of the storyline at some point), but overall-she is talented at telling the stories of us, humans. If you like novels about life, people, and the things we do-she is a good author for that. Your money will not be wasted.
I am so happy that i read this book it was great! I was really able to get into it and you should really read it. O ya one more thing if u r reading this review plz stop havin convos on here if you are doing so.
This is by far my favorite book. Almost nothing coould top it!!!
I had low expectations but ended up hooked.
This is probably my all time favorite books. Jodi Picoult has an amazing writing talent, and continues to amaze me with each book of hers that I read. Plain Truth is a mystery, love story, and inspirational book all in one. You are constantly on the edge of your seat waiting for what is going to happen next. If you are not thinking about the many family and relationship lessons that can be learned from reading this book, you are rethinking your opinion of what you think is going to happen.
I love Jodi Picoult's books, but this wasn't her best. The story was interesting enough, I suppose, but I already knew exactly how it was going to end. Maybe I've read too many of her books and know how she usually ends things, but this one was just way too obvious. I definitely liked My Sister's Keeper and Vanishing Acts better.
I didn't struggle to get through this book, but found it rather 'simple' and some of the dialouge to be flat our corny. I know nothing about the Amish, nor do I know anything about the law, or being a Lawyer, but I can tell you that from the perspective of just plain common sense, it seemed highly unethical for an Attorney to use her lover as an expert witness, and put him on the stand. The term 'Conflict of Interest' comes to mind. To summarize, it was mildly entertaining, and seemed to drag on in places, but it wasn't a complete disappointment - Just a little unrealistic and unbelievable at times.
Another great Picoult read! I have read at least 10 other Picoult novels before this one. I couldn't put it down. Like her other novels she does an outstanding job with character personalities. I felt like I knew them well without significant detail. Surprising twist at the end as usual but not predictable. A must read for any Picoult Fan! You will not be disappointed.