Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Plain Truth - Jodi Picoult

Moving seamlessly from psychological drama to courtroom suspense, Plain Truth is a fascinating portrait of Amish life rarely witnessed by those outside the faith. When a young Amish teen hides a pregnancy, gives birth in secret, and then flatly denies it all when the baby's body is found, urban defense attorney Ellie Hathaway decides to defend her. But she finds herself caught in a clash of cultures with a people whose channels of justice are markedly different from her own… and discovers a place where circumstances are not always what they seem.

This is my third book by Jodi Picoult. I must say that I liked this one better than the first two, first because it reads more like a mystery and that is one of my favourite genres and secondly because I did like the main characters and what they stood for. My problem now is that I feel that Picoult always chooses subjects that are not only emotionally charged but very polemic and so a guarantee of big sales. I can understand one of these subjects being dear to one’s heart and so wanting to write about them but all 3? That sounds a bit like manipulation and I don’t like that…

Regarding the story itself I did like how she showed the Amish, I have no idea if it’s an accurate picture or not but what I learned about their habits and way of thinking was interesting. By leaving us in the dark about what really happened to the baby she makes us focus on the characters and who they are to try to understand what may have happened. There are a few surprises along the way and she successfully keeps us guessing about the motivations behind the actions.

Besides the type of subjects she chooses I found in this book another common trait with Picoult previous books – a shocking final twist to close the story. I must say that in this story it was one I was expecting from the beginning, I just didn’t think it would come when it did. And somehow it made me like it a bit less because I was ready to appreciate all the good things I learned from it, and suddenly it was just another thriller…

Besides, what about the little girls Elle mentions in the beginning of the book? I wanted some resolution. And Hannah’s ghost? What was that? To bring Adam and Hannah together? I didn’t much like the paranormal element because I don’t it was that well explained or had a purpose.

Still nice but I think I’m done with Picoult!

Grade: 3.5/5


  1. This is one of my favourites, along with My Sister's Keeper and Second Glance.
    Be sure that she always chooses polemic subjects, so if you're getting bored, don't read more... I'm getting bored myself but I've already read 12 of her books ;) Some way better than others, always emotional and difficult to choose a side. And she definitely has a problem with the endings.

  2. I think my problem is that I am starting to think that she just chooses such sensitive subjects to get more readers... a bit like Dan Brown and The DaVinci Code, if it hadn't been about the church it wouldn't have been such a success.

    Anyway, I'll at least have a long break before thinking of another of hers... :-)

  3. Picoult does choose very sensitive and controversial subjects for her books. In a way, this makes them very intriguing. But, I think the problem is that her writing has become a bit formulaic. I think if her next book surprises the reader, instead of being the predictable Picoult twist, she will find her fans coming back for more again.

  4. Although I've only read 3 of her books I totally agree that they all tend to follow the same pattern. Is it already know which subject she will tackle in her next book? I'm assuming it will be another sensitive one.


I love to chat about books and stuff and I would love to hear from like minded readers. Please do leave me a comment :-)


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