A searing novel of the terrifying power of love from one of America'sleading novelists. Nina has a perfect, well, close to perfect life. She's a successful district attorney with a handsome husband named Caleb, who has a thriving contracting business of his own. They live in a picturesque little town in Maine, and they have an adorable little 5-year-old boy named Nathaniel. They both work too hard and sometimes Nina wonders if she's juggling too many balls, but Nathaniel makes it all worthwhile. Then one day he simply stops talking.
It's obvious that he's been traumatised, but in what way and by hom? When Nina finds out that the abuse has been sexual (her speciality as a district attorney is in rape and sex abuse cases) she won't rest until they find out who did it.
When the police finally come through, she naturally attends the arraignment of the accused. Then, in front of all assembled, she shoots him dead. This is a novel about he unbreakable bond between mother and child, about a woman who takes justice into er own hands only to discover how very dangerous playing God can be and about the destructive, redemptive, terrifying power of love.
I was a bit worried when I started this book because I had already read My Sister's Keeper and I'm afraid I was disappointed with it. This story seemed to centre on another strong theme - child abuse - and I was beginning to wonder whether the choice of subjects was a marketing ploy.
I'm happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised. The book does deal with child abuse yes but the main concern seems to be how far will we to protect the ones we love, especially when we know the system and its faults concerning the protection of children.
Nina Frost is a District Attorney, for the past 7 seven years she has prosecuted numerous child abuse cases and seen how the children are traumatised not only by the events but also by their experience in court and how most of the abusers actually walk free. When she finds out that her son has been abused Nina's view of justice shifts and all she can think about is protecting her child. First she seeks out a restraining order against her husband believing him to be the one and then, when a new suspect comes to light and goes to court, she shoots him to prevent that her son may have to testify.
This is where the book actually becomes alive for me and I felt myself unable to stop reading till the while situation is unravelled. Because Nina, while made crazy with grief and need to protect may have done something crazy but she does not believe she is crazy. In fact she feels she did the only thing she could to protect her son and was clear headed enough to decide the best course of action to be found not guilty by reason of insanity. While all this is happening we feel she knows she did something wrong and brought grief to the people related to the man she killed but she keeps feeling she did the best she could. All her reasoning sort of plummets when she finds that the man she murdered was not the real abuser and that the guilty one is still out there meaning not only is she a killer but her son may in fact have to testify if they do find the right man.
I am especially interested in stories about how extreme situations may lead us to actions we might not have taken if pushed into it. And what kind of actions and what kind of emotional response do we then have to knowing we did something we shouldn't have.Picoult book is not entirely about that, or at least it didn't feel that way to me, but it's close enough that I was really interested in what was going on. The main character is not particularly appealing and I did feel that the author could have approached the same subject without the emotional baggage that child abuse obviously brings. But it was interesting and gripping and I enjoyed reading it.