The Tenth Circle

The Tenth Circle

by Jodi Picoult

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476751320
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 12/24/2013
Pages: 512
Product dimensions: 4.00(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

About 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-six 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.

Hometown:

Hanover, New Hampshire

Date of Birth:

May 19, 1966

Place of Birth:

Nesconset, Long Island, NY

Education:

A.B. in Creative Writing, Princeton University; M.A. in Education, Harvard University

Read an Excerpt

Laura Stone knew exactly how to go to Hell.

She could map out its geography on napkins at departmental cocktail parties; she was able to recite all of the passageways and rivers and folds by heart; she was on a first-name basis with its sinners. As one of the top Dante scholars in the country, she taught a course in this very subject; and had done so every year since being tenured at Monroe College. English 364 was also listed in the course handbook as Burn Baby Burn (or: What the Devil is the Inferno?), and was one of the most popular courses on campus in the second trimester even though Dante's epic poem - the Divine Comedy - wasn't funny at all. Like her husband Daniel's artwork, which was neither comic nor a book, the Inferno covered every genre of pop culture: romance, horror, mystery, crime. And like all of the best stories, it had at its center an ordinary, everyday hero who simply didn't know how he'd ever become one.

Of the three parts of Dante's masterpiece, the Inferno was Laura's favorite to teach - who better to think about the nature of actions and their consequences than teeangers? The story was simple: over the course of three days - Good Friday to Easter Sunday - Dante trekked through the nine levels of Hell, each filled with sinners worse than the next, until finally he came through the other side. The poem was full of ranting and weeping and demons, of fighting lovers and traitors eating the brains of their victims - in other words, graphic enough to hold the interest of today's college students…and to provide a distraction from her real life.

She regarded the students packing the rows in the utterly silent lecture hall. "Don't move," she instructed. "Not even a twitch." Beside her, on the podium, an egg timer ticked away one full minute. She hid a smile as she watched the undergrads - all of whom suddenly had gotten the urge to sneeze or scratch their heads or wriggle. Finally, the timer buzzed, and the entire class exhaled in unison. "Well?" Laura asked. "How did that feel?"

"Endless," a student called out.

"Anyone want to guess how long I timed you for?"

There was speculation: Two minutes. Five.

"Try sixty seconds," Laura said. "Now imagine what it would be like to be encased in ice for eternity. Imagine that the slightest movement would freeze the tears on your face and the water surrounding you. God, as Dante saw Him, was all motion and energy - so the ultimate punishment for Lucifer is to not be able to move at all in his lake of ice. No fire, no brimstone - just the utter inability to take action."

That - at its heart - was why Laura loved this poem…and why, right now, she felt so viscerally connected to it. Sure, it could be seen as a study of religion, or politics. Certainly it was a narrative of redemption. But when you stripped it down, this poem was the story of an ordinary guy in the throes of a midlife crisis.

Not unlike Laura herself.

- - - - - - -

As Daniel Stone waited in the long queue of cars pulling up to the high school, he glanced at the stranger in the seat beside him and tried to remember when she used to be his daughter.

"Traffic's bad today," he said to Trixie, just to fill up the space between them.

Trixie didn't respond. She fiddled with the radio, running through a symphony of static and song bites before punching it off entirely. Her red hair fell like a gash over her shoulder; her hands were burrowed in the sleeves of her North Face jacket. She turned to stare out the window, lost in a thousand thoughts, not a single one of which Daniel could guess.

These days it seemed like the words between them were only there to better outline the silences. Daniel understood better than anyone else that, in the blink of an eye, you might reinvent yourself. He understood that the person you were yesterday might not be the person you are tomorrow. But this time, he was the one who wanted to hold onto what he had, instead of letting go.

"Dad," she said, and she flicked her eyes ahead, where the car in front of them was moving forward.

It was a complete cliché, but Daniel had assumed that the traditional distance that came between teenagers and their parents would pass by him and Trixie. They had a different relationship, after all; closer than most daughters and their fathers, simply because he was the one she came home to every day. He had done his due diligence in her bathroom medicine cabinet and her desk drawers and underneath her mattress - there were no drugs, no accordion-pleated condoms. Trixie was just growing away from him, and somehow that was even worse.

This September - and here was another cliché - Trixie had gotten a boyfriend. Daniel had had his share of fantasies: how he'd be casually cleaning a pistol when she was picked up for her first date; how he'd buy a chastity belt on the Internet. In none of those scenarios, though, had he ever really considered how the sight of a boy with his proprietary hand around his daughter's waist might make him want to run until his lungs burst. And in none of these scenarios had he seen Trixie's face fill with light when he came to the door, the same way she'd once looked at Daniel. Overnight, the little girl who vamped for his home videos now moved like a vixen when she wasn't even trying. Overnight, his daughter's actions and habits stopped being cute, and started being something terrifying.

His wife reminded him that the tighter he kept Trixie on a leash, the more she'd fight the chokehold. After all, Laura pointed out, rebelling against the system was what led her to start dating Daniel. So when Trixie and Jason went out to a movie, Daniel forced himself to wish her a good time. When she escaped to her room to talk to her boyfriend privately on the phone, he did not hover at the door. He gave her breathing space; and somehow, that had become an immeasurable distance.

"Hello?!" Trixie said, snapping Daniel out of his reverie. The cars in front of them had pulled away; the crossing guard was furiously miming to get Daniel to drive up.

"Well," he said. "Finally."

Trixie pulled at the door handle. "Can you let me out?"

Daniel fumbled with the power locks. "I'll see you at three," he said.

"I don't need to be picked up."

Daniel tried to paste a wide smile on his face. "Jason driving you home?"

Trixie gathered together her backpack and jacket. "Yeah," she said. "Jason." She slammed the truck door and blended into the mass of teenagers funneling toward the front door of the high school.

"Trixie!" Daniel called out the window, so loud that several other kids turned around with her. Trixie's hand was curled into a fist against her chest, as if she was holding tight to a secret. She looked at him, waiting.

There was a game they had played when Trixie was little, and would pore over the comic book collections he kept in his studio for research when he was drawing. Best transportation? she'd challenge, and Daniel would say the Batmobile. No way, Trixie had said. Wonder Woman's invisible plane.

Best costume?

Wolverine, Daniel said; but Trixie voted for the Dark Phoenix.

Now, he leaned toward her. "Best superpower?" he asked.

It had been the only answer they agreed upon: Flight. But this time, Trixie looked at him as if he were crazy to be bringing up a stupid game from a thousand years ago. "I'm going to be late," she said, and she started to walk away.

Cars honked, but Daniel didn't put the truck into gear. He closed his eyes, trying to remember what he had been like at her age. At fourteen, Daniel had been living in a different world, and doing everything he could to fight, lie, cheat, steal, and brawl his way out of it. At fourteen, he had been someone Trixie had never seen her father be. Daniel had made sure of it.

"Daddy."

Daniel turned to find Trixie standing beside his truck. She curled her hands around the lip of the open window; the glitter in her pink nailpolish catching the sun. "Invisibility," she said, and then she melted into the crowd behind her. - - - - - - -

Trixie Stone had been a ghost for fourteen days, seven hours, and thirty-six minutes now, not that she was officially counting. This meant that she walked around school and smiled when she was supposed to; she pretended to listen when the algebra teacher talked about commutative properties; she even sat in the cafeteria with the other ninth graders. But while they laughed at the lunch ladies' hairstyles (or lack thereof), Trixie studied her hands and wondered whether anyone else noticed that if the sun hit your palm a certain way, you could see right through the skin, to the busy tunnels with blood moving around inside. Corpuscles. She slipped the word into her mouth and tucked it high against her cheek like a sucking candy, so that if anyone happened to ask her a question she could just shake her head, unable to speak.

Kids who knew (and who didn't? the news had traveled like a forest fire) were waiting to see her lose her careful balance. Trixie had even overheard one girl making a bet about when she might fall apart in a public situation. High school students were cannibals; they fed off your broken heart while you watched, and then shrugged and offered you a bloody, apologetic smile.

Visine helped. So did Preparation H under the eyes, as disgusting as it was to imagine. Trixie would get up at 5:30 in the morning and carefully select a double-layer of long-sleeved t-shirts and a pair of flannel pants; gather her hair into a messy ponytail. It took an hour to make herself look like she'd just rolled out of bed; like she'd been losing no sleep at all over what had happened. These days, her entire life was about making people believe she was someone she wasn't anymore.

Trixie crested the hallway on a sea of noise - lockers gnashing like teeth; guys yelling out afternoon plans over the heads of underclassmen; change being dug out of pockets for vending machines. She turned Trixie turned the corner and saw them: Jessica Ridgeley, with her long sweep of blonde hair and her dermatologist's-daughter skin, was leaning against the door of the AV room kissing Jason.

He was wearing the faded denim shirt she'd borrowed once when he spilled Coke on her while they were studying; and his black hair was a mess. You need a part, she used to tell him, and he'd laugh. I've got better ones, he'd say.

She could smell him -- shampoo and peppermint gum and believe it or not, the cool white mist of utter ice. It was the same smell on the t-shirt she'd hidden in the bottom of her pajama drawer, the one he didn't know she had, the one she wrapped around her pillow each night before she went to sleep. It kept the details in her dreams: a callus on the edge of Jason's wrist, rubbed raw by his hockey glove. The flannel-covered sound of his voice when she called him on the phone and woke him. The way he would twirl a pencil around the fingers of one hand when he was nervous, or thinking too hard.

He was doing that, she remembered, when he broke up with her.

Trixie became a rock, the sea of students parting around her. She watched Jason's hands slip into the back pockets of Jessica's jeans. She could see the dimple on the left side of his mouth, the one that only appeared when he was speaking from the heart.

Was he telling Jessica that his favorite sound was the thump that laundry made when it was turning around in a dryer? That sometimes, he could walk by the telephone and think she was going to call, and sure enough she did? That once, when he was ten, he broke into a candy machine because he wanted to know what happened to the quarters once they went inside?

Was she even listening?

Suddenly, Trixie felt someone grab her arm and start dragging her down the hall, out the door and into the courtyard. She smelled the acrid twitch of a match, and a minute later, a cigarette had been stuck between her lips. "Inhale," Zephyr commanded.

Zephyr Santorelli-Weinstein was Trixie's oldest friend. She had enormous doe-eyes and olive skin and the coolest mother on the planet - one who bought her incense for her room and took her to get her navel pierced like it was an adolescent rite. She had a father, too, but he lived in California with his new family and Trixie knew better than to bring up the subject. "What class have you got next?"

"French."

"Madame Wright is senile. Let's ditch."

Bethel High had an open campus, not because the administration was such a fervent promoter of teen freedom, but because there was simply nowhere to go. Trixie walked beside Zephyr along the access road to the school, their faces ducked against the wind; their hands stuffed into the pockets of their North Face jackets. The criss-cross pattern where she'd cut herself an hour earlier on her arm wasn't bleeding anymore, but the cold made it sting. Trixie automatically started breathing through her mouth, because even from a distance, she could smell the gassy, rotten-egg odor from the paper mill to the north that employed most of the adults in Bethel. "I heard what happened in Psych," Zephyr said.

"Great," Trixie muttered. "Now the whole world thinks I'm a loser and a freak."

Zephyr took the cigarette from Trixie's hand and smoked the last of it. "What do you care what the whole world thinks?"

"Not the whole world," Trixie admitted. She felt her eyes prickle with tears again, and she wiped her mitten across them. "I want to kill Jessica Ridgeley."

"If I were you, I'd want to kill Jason," Zephyr said. "Why do you let it get to you?"

Trixie shook her head. "I'm the one who's supposed to be with him, Zephyr. I just know it."

They had reached the turn of the river past the park-and-ride, where the bridge stretched over the Androscoggin River. This time of year, it was nearly frozen over; with great swirling art sculptures that formed as ice built up around the rocks that crouched in the riverbed. If they kept walking another quarter-mile, they'd reach the town, which basically consisted of a Chinese restaurant, a minimart, a bank, a toy store, and a whole lot of nothing else.

Zephyr watched Trixie cry for a few minutes, then leaned against the railing of the bridge. "You want the good news or the bad news?"

Trixie blew her nose in an old tissue she'd found in her pocket. "Bad news."

"Martyr," Zephyr said, grinning. "The bad news is that my best friend has officially exceeded her two week grace period for mourning over a relationship, and that she will be penalized from here on in."

At that, Trixie smiled a little. "What's the good news?"

"Moss Minton and I have sort of been hanging out."

Trixie felt another stab in her chest. Her best friend, and Jason's?. "Really?"

"Well, maybe we weren't actually hanging out. He waited for me after English class today to ask me if you were okay…but still, the way I figure it, he could have asked anyone, right?"

Trixie wiped her nose. "Great. I'm glad my misery is doing wonders for your love life."

"Well, it's sure as hell not doing anything for yours," Zephyr said. "You can't keep crying over Jason. He knows you're obsessed." She shook her head. "Guys don't want high-maintenance, Trix. They want…Jessica Ridgeley."

"What the fuck does he see in her?"

Zephyr shrugged. "Who knows. Bra size? Neanderthal IQ?" She pulled her messenger bag forward, so that it she could dig inside for a pack of M&Ms. Hanging from the edge of the bag were twenty linked pink paper clips.

Trixie knew girls who kept a record of sexual encounters in a journal, or by fastening safety pins to the tongue of a sneaker. For Zephyr, it was paper clips. "A guy can't hurt you if you don't let him," Zephyr said, running her finger across the paper clips, so that they danced.

These days, having a boyfriend or a girlfriend was not in vogue; most kids trolled for random hookups. The sudden thought that Trixie might have been that to Jason made her feel sick to her stomach. "I can't be like that."

Zephyr ripped open the bag of candy and passed it to Trixie. "Friends with benefits. It's what the guys want, Trix."

"How about what the girls want?"

Zephyr shrugged. "Hey, I suck at algebra; I can't sing on key; and I'm always the last one picked for a team in gym…but apparently I'm quite gifted when it comes to hooking up."

Trixie turned, laughing. "They tell you that?"

"Sure," Zephyr said. "Don't knock it until you've tried it. You get all the fun, without any of the baggage. And the next day you just act like it never happened."

Trixie tugged on the paper clip chain. "If you're acting like it never happened, they why are you keeping track?"

"Once I hit a hundred, I can send away for the free decoder ring," Zephyr joked "I don't know. I guess it's just so I remember where I started."

Trixie opened her palm and surveyed the M&Ms. The food coloring dye was already starting to bleed against her skin. "Why do you think the commercials say they won't melt in your hands, when they always do?"

"Because everyone lies," Zephyr replied.

All teenagers knew this was true. The process of growing up was nothing more than figuring out what doors hadn't yet been slammed in your face. For years, Trixie's own parents had told her that she could be anything, have anything, do anything. That was why she'd been so eager to grow up - until she got to adolescence and slammed into a big, fat wall of reality. As it turned out, she couldn't have anything she wanted. You didn't get to be pretty or smart or popular just because you wanted it. You didn't control your own destiny; you were too busy trying to fit in. Even now, as she stood here, there were a million parents setting their kids up for heartbreak.

Zephyr stared out over the railing. "This is the third time I've cut English this week."

In French class, Trixie was missing a quiz on le subjonctif. Verbs, apparently, had moods too: they had to be conjugated a whole different way if they were used in clauses to express want, doubt, wishes, judgment. She had memorized the red-flag phrases last night: It is doubtful that. It's not clear that. It seems that. It may be that. Even though. No matter what. Without.

She didn't need a stupid leçon to teach her something she'd known for years: Given anything negative or uncertain, there were rules that had to be followed.

Reading Group Guide

The Tenth Circle
by Jodi Picoult
ISBN: 0-7434-9670-1
Fourteen-year-old Trixie has been a ghost for fourteen days, seven hours, and thirty-six minutes now, not that she is officially counting. Trixie's protective father has been consumed with attempts to shield her from a new life, one that includes a boy with a proprietary hand around his daughter's waist. But Daniel Stone never for a moment suspected that the same boy might inflict upon his daughter the worst possible harm. Could the boy who once made Trixie's face fill with light when he came to the door have drugged and then raped her? She says that he did, and that is all it takes to make Daniel, a man with a past hidden even from his family, consider taking matters into his own hands in order to protect his daughter.
This is a novel about the unbreakable bond between parent and child, the temptation to play God, and its dangerous repercussions. Using her sensitive, wise touch, Jodi Picoult once again probes deeply into the love and anguish of a young girl and her family. This time, she has added the innovative element of embedding a graphic novel within her text. They are at once the professional work of her character, Daniel Stone, and a unique insight into his fractured and desperate heart.

The Tenth Circle
Group Discussion Questions
1. In Chapter One, Laura says "God, according to Dante, was all about motion and energy, so the ultimate punishment for Lucifer is to not be able to move at all." (p. 16) How do you feel about this concept of hell as the inability to take action? What do you take from this? How does this theory translate into modern-day life?
2. Why does Daniel find villains interesting? Daniel describes Duncan as "a forty-something father who knew that getting old was hell. Who wanted to keep his family safe; whose powers controlled him, instead of the other way around." If "power always involved a loss of humanity," then how does this comic book character maintain his humanity? Compare and contrast Daniel with the character he creates in his comic strip.
3. Early on, Daniel and Trixie seem to have the ideal father-daughter relationship. During Trixie's examination, Daniel reflects that he and Trixie would play the alphabet game with superhero powers. What superhero powers did Daniel wish he had? Why do you think these were so important to him? What does that reveal about his character? Trixie's?
4. It is said that a rape victim is revictimized by the initial examination. Do you think this is true for Trixie? Why do you think the police detective doubts her accusation against Jason?
5. In popular culture, the husband is more often portrayed as the cheater, and the wife typically as the one who makes career sacrifices for the family. Does Daniel as a character seem emasculated by the way these roles are reversed in The Tenth Circle? Why are stay-at-home fathers seen differently by society than mothers who raise their children full time?
6. In Chapter Four, regarding trauma, Picoult writes, "It was a catch-22: If you didn't put the trauma behind you, you couldn't move on. But if you did put the trauma behind you, you willingly gave up your claim to the person you were before it happened." Which characters would agree with this statement and why?
7. Trixie is consistently revictimized at school, and her own best friend doesn't believe that she was raped. If Trixie's school was a kind of hell for her, then what would Dante say about her situation and the best way to get out of it?
8. Discuss reality versus perception, intention versus action. Why are Trixie's and Jason's versions of what happened so different? Whose do you believe is the truth? Do you think there IS a definitive truth?
9. After Laura and Daniel have a romantic episode, Daniel continues to express his resentment for her infidelity. In that moment his sexual urge is not to make love to her but to "take her back." How does his urge compare to Jason's urge in raping Trixie?
10. Throughout the story Trixie is struggling to get back to her life prior to the rape, and similarly Daniel and Laura are trying to return to a place in their marriage prior to Laura's infidelity. What does this story say about whether or not we can recapture our past? How does Daniel's childhood figure into this theme?
11. Does a victim get justice when the perpetrator takes his or her own life? When Daniel abuses Jason, is he helping or hurting Trixie? When Trixie runs away, did you believe that she killed Jason? What did you think about this surprise ending? How can you map the breakdown in trust between these relationships: Trixie and Jason, Laura and Daniel, Daniel and Trixie, Trixie and Zephyr. How has this breakdown contributed to the demise of all parties?
12. How did Daniel's artwork, embedded inside The Tenth Circle, affect your reading experience? In what ways does reading the graphic novel give you insight into Daniel's behavior during the narrative part of the novel?
13. In the story there is a thread of control — characters losing and gaining control over their lives and their environments. Discuss what control means to each character.
14. After Daniel takes his revenge, does he believe he is more of a superhero? Does he really think he has avenged Trixie? What is the story saying about retribution?
15. Why is snow symbolic in the story? What other symbols are there?
16. Trixie is haunted by Jason's ghost. Is this a figment of her imagination or a manifestation of guilt?

The Tenth Circle
Reading Group Tips
1. Research Dante; one great website is http://www3.iath.virginia.edu/dante/
2. List some interesting tidbits about the first comic book superheroes (refer to http://www.geocities.com/Athens/8580/Hist1.html for some great information)
3. For more information on Jodi Picoult and to sign up for her newsletter, visit http://www.jodipicoult.com/. Be sure to listen to her discuss The Tenth Circle in her AuthorBytes presentation, and to read the conversation with her about the research behind the novel.

Introduction

The Tenth Circle

by Jodi Picoult

ISBN: 0-7434-9670-1

Fourteen-year-old Trixie has been a ghost for fourteen days, seven hours, and thirty-six minutes now, not that she is officially counting. Trixie's protective father has been consumed with attempts to shield her from a new life, one that includes a boy with a proprietary hand around his daughter's waist. But Daniel Stone never for a moment suspected that the same boy might inflict upon his daughter the worst possible harm. Could the boy who once made Trixie's face fill with light when he came to the door have drugged and then raped her? She says that he did, and that is all it takes to make Daniel, a man with a past hidden even from his family, consider taking matters into his own hands in order to protect his daughter.

This is a novel about the unbreakable bond between parent and child, the temptation to play God, and its dangerous repercussions. Using her sensitive, wise touch, Jodi Picoult once again probes deeply into the love and anguish of a young girl and her family. This time, she has added the innovative element of embedding a graphic novel within her text. They are at once the professional work of her character, Daniel Stone, and a unique insight into his fractured and desperate heart.

The Tenth Circle

Group Discussion Questions

1. In Chapter One, Laura says "God, according to Dante, was all about motion and energy, so the ultimate punishment for Lucifer is to not be able to move at all." (p. 16) How do you feel about this concept of hell as the inability to take action? What do you take from this? How does this theory translate into modern-day life?

2. Why does Daniel findvillains interesting? Daniel describes Duncan as "a forty-something father who knew that getting old was hell. Who wanted to keep his family safe; whose powers controlled him, instead of the other way around." If "power always involved a loss of humanity," then how does this comic book character maintain his humanity? Compare and contrast Daniel with the character he creates in his comic strip.

3. Early on, Daniel and Trixie seem to have the ideal father-daughter relationship. During Trixie's examination, Daniel reflects that he and Trixie would play the alphabet game with superhero powers. What superhero powers did Daniel wish he had? Why do you think these were so important to him? What does that reveal about his character? Trixie's?

4. It is said that a rape victim is revictimized by the initial examination. Do you think this is true for Trixie? Why do you think the police detective doubts her accusation against Jason?

5. In popular culture, the husband is more often portrayed as the cheater, and the wife typically as the one who makes career sacrifices for the family. Does Daniel as a character seem emasculated by the way these roles are reversed in The Tenth Circle? Why are stay-at-home fathers seen differently by society than mothers who raise their children full time?

6. In Chapter Four, regarding trauma, Picoult writes, "It was a catch-22: If you didn't put the trauma behind you, you couldn't move on. But if you did put the trauma behind you, you willingly gave up your claim to the person you were before it happened." Which characters would agree with this statement and why?

7. Trixie is consistently revictimized at school, and her own best friend doesn't believe that she was raped. If Trixie's school was a kind of hell for her, then what would Dante say about her situation and the best way to get out of it?

8. Discuss reality versus perception, intention versus action. Why are Trixie's and Jason's versions of what happened so different? Whose do you believe is the truth? Do you think there IS a definitive truth?

9. After Laura and Daniel have a romantic episode, Daniel continues to express his resentment for her infidelity. In that moment his sexual urge is not to make love to her but to "take her back." How does his urge compare to Jason's urge in raping Trixie?

10. Throughout the story Trixie is struggling to get back to her life prior to the rape, and similarly Daniel and Laura are trying to return to a place in their marriage prior to Laura's infidelity. What does this story say about whether or not we can recapture our past? How does Daniel's childhood figure into this theme?

11. Does a victim get justice when the perpetrator takes his or her own life? When Daniel abuses Jason, is he helping or hurting Trixie? When Trixie runs away, did you believe that she killed Jason? What did you think about this surprise ending? How can you map the breakdown in trust between these relationships: Trixie and Jason, Laura and Daniel, Daniel and Trixie, Trixie and Zephyr. How has this breakdown contributed to the demise of all parties?

12. How did Daniel's artwork, embedded inside The Tenth Circle, affect your reading experience? In what ways does reading the graphic novel give you insight into Daniel's behavior during the narrative part of the novel?

13. In the story there is a thread of control — characters losing and gaining control over their lives and their environments. Discuss what control means to each character.

14. After Daniel takes his revenge, does he believe he is more of a superhero? Does he really think he has avenged Trixie? What is the story saying about retribution?

15. Why is snow symbolic in the story? What other symbols are there?

16. Trixie is haunted by Jason's ghost. Is this a figment of her imagination or a manifestation of guilt?

The Tenth Circle

Reading Group Tips

1. Research Dante; one great website is http://www3.iath.virginia.edu/dante/

2. List some interesting tidbits about the first comic book superheroes (refer to http://www.geocities.com/Athens/8580/Hist1.html for some great information)

3. For more information on Jodi Picoult and to sign up for her newsletter, visit http://www.jodipicoult.com/. Be sure to listen to her discuss The Tenth Circle in her AuthorBytes presentation, and to read the conversation with her about the research behind the novel.

Customer Reviews

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The Tenth Circle 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 430 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thanks to the person at the bottom for giving away what happens in the book!!!! Think before you write next time, people read reviews to see if its a book they want to buy! Ugh!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jodi Picoult's THE TENTH CIRCLE verges on genius for a new literary style to add to her tight rope walking ideas that she always presents in her books. Her new book is 10% cartoon book which covers all the intricacies of Dante's Inferno with the wonderful style of the adult superhero cartoonest. Once again she presents a book that is a must do for all reading groups. What would we be willing to do for our child? Do we have any control over our darker, vengeful sides? Can we learn from mistakes and become better people? Are human being redeemable? Parental angst for the life styles of our teenagers is played out extremely well in this very compelling story line. I would recommend that anyone who has not not found Jodi Picoult should go right out and pick up all thirteen of her easy reading, thought provoking, timely issues books. A superhero winner, Jodi Pidoult!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read several of Jodi Picoult's books and have been hooked from chapter 1. Not so much here. I found it hard to stay interested. When I turned the page and faced the prologue, I turned back thinking I had skipped a chapter. The book didn't end...it just stopped. Disappointing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book, like many other Picoult books, not only takes you through the journey that each individual character is experiencing but you also learn so much more about the passion of each of the characters themselves. I love the way she incorperates that into her writing so you feel like you are learning something effortlessly as you enjoy falling in love with her charaters and what makes them who they are.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you read the ridiciously long reviews that some people write practically giving away the whole story, without any regard of other people who have not read the book yet. Rude and insensitive. My only advice, DO NOT READ THEIR REVIEWS!
Jenna Slade More than 1 year ago
Good read but wasnt surprised with ending
Brigette Robinson More than 1 year ago
I couldnt put this book down at all! I love this book! Ive read many of jodis books and this ones the best! Must read! I really wish that it continued, i wanna know if trixie ever met up with willie again! So sweet! :D
Guest More than 1 year ago
This has become one of my favorite books. THE TENTH CIRCLE was a quick read and kept me on my toes! The book took so many unexpected turns that I couldn't put it down. The 'secret' at the very end of the book was quite frustrating until I figured it out. You'll just have to wait and figure it out yourself! A definite 5-star read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As usual Picoult gives us a great, well researched read...but wasn't as much an "I just can't put this book down" as some of her others have been for me. I would still recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My book club read the synopsis and thought it sounded like a good book. It was almost painful to get through without a glimmer of happiness in it. Every page seemed to bring more tragedy and gloom. I made myself finish it, but it was hard to do so.
GardenerGal More than 1 year ago
I'm currently reading another book by this author & it definitely doesn't stand up to this one's originality. This book flows better from chapter to chapter and each character is anything but a cookie-cutter personality. It had depth that I never would have imagined before opening this book.
AbbyR on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I found the story engaging and the language beautiful. This is the first book by this author I've read, and I think she has a real flair. I'll be looking for more.
WittyreaderLI on LibraryThing 3 months ago
This book was a great Jodi Picoult book. It wasn't her best, but it was better than most of the other books I've read before.
libmhleigh on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Fantasma on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I'm a big fan of Mrs Picoult but I know she can't always write excelent books. This one, it's one of those not so good...It has lots of boring parts, the bits about Daniel's life in Alaska are 90% uninteresting and don't add nothing to the main story. The ending, totally disappointing and predictable, nothing like we are used to.And I didn't really cared for any of them, the Stone family...
Jennie_103 on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I've read each of Picoult's books since My Sister's Keeper, and they're getting a bit samey. The cartoon graphics were a new touch but a lot of the story elements seem to be repeated. The inuit people could be substituted for the Native Americans in an earlier book, rape and the devastation it can cause was central to Salam Falls. Saying all that, it was still a good read and if you've enjoyed her others then you probably will enjoy this one too. Just don't try to read her books back to back!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book
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Slow read but worth it
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book very much. I did have trouble with the comic portions and never did find the quote. Was worth the read though
Anonymous More than 1 year ago