Author: Jodi Picoult
Date Finished: Jan 25, 2008
Yearly Count: 5
Yes, I am procrastinating on my Book Thief thoughts. Grrr. But this book is much simpler to write about--sort of. :)
Plain Truth is my sixth Jodi Picoult book (and since I've recently purchased two more, not my last). At the beginning of the novel, a young girl gives birth to a baby, falls asleep, and when she wakes up the baby is gone. The young girl, Katie, is unmarried and Amish. When the baby is found dead and the police arrive to question the residents of the home, Katie exhibits no knowledge of just having a baby--although physically it is obvious. Even though Katie does not remember having the baby, she is implicated for the murder.
On the other side of the spectrum is Ellie, a high-powered, big-city attorney, who escapes to Lancaster County, PA, at the beginning of the novel for a break from the courtroom. However, her rest is cut short when she inadvertently becomes involved in Katie's defense as she is persuaded to be Katie's attorney and "guardian". Because Ellie must be with Katie at all times, she also must live with Katie's family within the Amish community. As Ellie adapts and adjusts to the Amish lifestyle, she enters into a tangled web of truth and lies, Plain morals versus English morals, and just how far the Amish will go to protect their own--and how quickly they will turn their backs on those who have done wrong.
I felt engaged by this story, but not until halfway through the novel. After six novels, I'm starting to feel as though the characters and stories from all of her books are beginning to blend together. Ellie could have been any number of women from the other novels--and her love problems could have been the love problems in any of the novels. Woman goes through a period of uncertainty. Woman meets man. Woman becomes more assured by the end of the book. Even when it switched from omniscient to first person (Ellie) perspective I had a difficult time discerning between the two (except for the use of "I"). HOPEFULLY I'm wrong and I won't continue to have these feelings with her other books. :(
But, I did like the book, and Picoult continually allows the reader to dive into the story for total immersion with her details and knowledge. I loved reading about the Amish culture and its complexities. I think I'm in the minority because many people have said they rank this among Picoult's best, but it still doesn't beat out The Pact, My Sister's Keeper, and Keeping Faith as my top three picks.