Everything that I’ve read by Jodi Picoult thus far has been great (The Pact, My Sister’s Keeper, 19 Minutes), but this book didn’t do it for me like the others did.
As with all of her books (at least what I’ve read), Picoult takes a deep look into the lives of several characters. There is Trixie, a fourteen year old girl who tests the boundaries of adolescence and adulthood to find out who she is. Her father Daniel, a stay at home dad and comic book artist, who is doing everything within his power to be the strong figure Trixie needs him to be while keeping his own secrets hidden. And Laura, Trixie’s mother, who is a Dante scholar wrestling with an affair she has been having with a student.
At the story’s center is the night of Trixie’s alleged rape by her ex-boyfriend Jason. After this night, the events spiral out of control until not even the characters themselves can tell what is true and what is not. As usual, I won’t go into any more details about the plot. :)
What I like about Picoult is her ability to draw her reader into the text. She takes situations and gives all of the perspectives available until all of the lines and boundaries are completely blurred. Basically, anything could happen because every character has his hidden secrets. While The Tenth Circle did have elements of this, especially in the first half of the book, *most* of the secrets are uncovered two-thirds into the book. While I was able to keep interest in the last part of the book, it was not nearly as affecting as her other novels. By the time I got to the ending, I felt myself caring very little about what secrets were left.
Recommendation: While this was a little disappointing, I am solely basing that disappointment in comparison to her other novels. The book was still good, was still engaging, and of course, Picoult still asks those questions that don’t have an easy answer.